Companion Star Eclipses X-Ray Neutron Star

X-ray pulsar Swift J1749.4-2807 is the first pulsar astronomers have witnessed being eclipsed by its companion star

April signal from Sagittarius the Archer reveals pulsar (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Astronomy News

Friday, December 30, 2011 – “Astronomy delights the soul because of the mystery

Astronomers recently detected a signal emanating from the constellation Sagittarius the Archer which after study turned out to be a type of x-ray pulsar often called an accretion-powered pulsar. Accretion-powered pulsars have to this point in the human journey to the beginning of time and space always appeared as part of a binary star system with a normal type star. In this scenario the powerful gravity field of the neutron star is able to pull material from the surface of the normal star during a process referred too as accretion. Astronomers have designated this new x-ray pulsar Swift J1749.4-2807 and believe it’s the remnant of a supernova. Spinning wildly out of control, this accretion-powered pulsar is thought to be composed of dense material with properties we know nothing about.

Astronomers believe the signal emanating from the constellation Sagittarius the Archer was produced during the accretion process as the material torn from the surface of the normal star spirals around the neutron star.  NASA scientists believe the material heats up to the point where it radiates x-rays during the process of spiralling into the region of the neutron star’s magnetic poles. X-ray detectors on near Earth telescopes detect these x-rays when a spinning neutron star lines up directly with the line of sight to Earth.

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Click this link to watch a You Tube video on Sagittarius the Archer

Sagittarius the Archer

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