A mysterious object in deep space baffles astronomers

A mysterious object in deep space baffles astronomers

A team of scientists has discovered a compact object 40,000 light-years from Earth that is either a very massive neutron star or a tiny black hole, but they’re not sure which.

The so-called mass gap object has a mass between 2.09 and 2.71 times the mass of our Sun. For a neutron star — Collapsed, ultra-dense core of the star– That would be huge, probably the biggest yet. But for Black hole– A more compact object, so dense that not even light can escape from it – it will be among the smallest of its kind; Could be black holes Millions if not billions of times the mass of our Sun. The team’s research explores an object that is neither here nor there published Today in science.

“If it is a neutron star, it would likely be the heaviest star known to date, with lessons for the uncertain physics of very dense nuclear matter,” said Maya Fishback, an astrophysicist at the University of Toronto who was not involved in the latest study. linked Perspective essay. “If it is a black hole, it may be the lightest known, which could impact understanding of supernova explosions or dynamical interactions such as the merger of neutron stars within globular clusters.”

Both neutron stars and black holes are sites of some phenomena in the universe The most extreme physics. From others Internal works to Collisions distort spacetime Between them, a better understanding of their origins and interactions will help astrophysicists decipher everything from quantum mechanics to the evolution of galaxies. Their puzzling nature likely holds answers to some fundamental questions about the universe.

The object sits in Caldwell 73 (NGC 1851), a globular cluster that may have formed from two clusters that merged into a dwarf galaxy. It’s half a binary system, the other half is a pulsar, a rapidly rotating neutron star whose flashes of light can be used by astrophysicists to measure things like Space-time itself ripples. The two objects are 4.97 million miles (8 million kilometers) away from each other.

Globular cluster Caldwell 73, home of the mysterious object.

Notice the double team with Meerkat radio telescope In South Africa. They calculated the binary’s total mass — 3.887 solar masses, plus or minus .004, plus the mass of the companion, a top estimate of which is 2.71 solar masses. (In 2019, a different team described A massive neutron star with a mass of 2.14 times the mass of the Sun; The newly described body blows that body out of the cosmic water.)

“In addition to the unusual companion mass of the pulsar PSR J0514−4002E, the binary system’s total mass of 3,887 solar masses is remarkable,” Fishback added. “It is heavier than any known binary neutron star system.”

The research team believes that the unique object – again, either one of the heaviest neutron stars or perhaps the lightest known black hole – formed in the merger of two neutron stars, regardless of its true nature.

Although the team was ultimately unable to identify this unusual object, subsequent observations of similar compact objects in the same mass range may provide some clarity about the conditions under which neutron stars and black holes form and grow.

more: Gravitational wave results indicate that supermassive black holes constantly distort spacetime

(Tags for translation) Gravitational wave

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *