The discovery of a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns was revealed by a new research.
The study at NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) found that the object, previously thought to be a black hole because it is so powerful, is in fact a pulsar, the incredibly dense rotating remains of a star.
AdvertisementResearcher Fiona Harrison said that this compact little stellar remnant is a real powerhouse and since they never saw anything quite like it, they all thought an object with that much energy had to be a black hole.
Researcher Dom Walton said that they don't know how this happens and theorists will be chewing on it for a long time and besides being weird, the finding will help scientists better understand a class of very bright X-ray sources, called ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs)
The reason most astronomers had assumed black holes were powering ULXs is that these X-ray sources are so incredibly bright and the black holes can be anywhere from 10 to billions of times the mass of the sun, making their gravitational tug much stronger than that of a pulsar.
As matter falls onto the black hole the gravitational energy turns it to heat, which creates X-ray light and the bigger the black hole, the more energy there is to make the object shine.
The study is published in Nature.
You May Also Like