October 20th, 2014 16:21 EST
NASA`s NuStar Telescope Discovers a Wondrous Pulsar Star
"As the sky slowly turns from the daytime light of the sun immersing beautiful sunshine across it to the evening shade of dark as the night creeps up upon us, we watch the sky light-up like a Fourth of July fireworks display as the millions of stars come out to almost say, I may be twinkling like the eyes of children on Christmas day as they open their presents one by one but the twinkle in me is also filled with a mysterious power you never knew even existed." (Anselm, R.)
The stars are like millions of lights that pull our attention towards them. There is no greater feeling than to be in the Great Northwest in God`s country with nothing around you but the gentle breeze of the Great Northwest chill, lakes and rivers that roll over mountains like blankets of beauty and the cry of Cougars letting us know it`s probably feeding time to get the heck out of their way as they hunt for their prey (hopefully it won`t be you) and to be sitting there chillin` as day turns to night and the stars appear in flight in the sky all around you. There are no city lights out there to interfere with the glow and beauty of each tiny star. You get the full effect of how science and astronomy have grown to be entities that study space and our universe but do you really know how powerful stars really are and the energy that is emitted from them?
Recently, astronomers discovered a pulsating, dead star shining very brightly in our universe, so bright that it has the energy of about ten million suns. A pulsar is a dense stellar remnant that is left over from a supernova explosion. This is the brightest pulsar scientists have ever found. This tiny ball of energy was discovered by NASA`s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array or NuStar.
Fiona Harrison who is NuStars principle investigator shined a little light (in a matter of speaking) about the mysterious pulsar recently discovered, " You might think of this pulsar as the Mighty Mouse of stellar remnants. It has all the power of a black hole but with much less mass." (Harrison, F.)
This new discovery of the new pulsar is giving scientists and astronomer`s new insight about what is known as Ultraluminous X-rays or (ULX`s). These unknown sources were thought to be black holes but with this new find of the pulsar and another one recently found about twelve million light-years away, scientist now are finding out that (ULX;s) are not black holes but pulsars.
Fiona Harrison went on to comment on pulsars by saying, " The pulsar appears to be eating the equivalent of a black hole diet. This result will help us understand how black holes gorge and grow so quickly which is an important event in the formation of galaxies and structures in the universe." (Harrison, F.)
Pulsars belong to a class of stars known as neutron stars. As with black holes the neutron stars are the burnt out cores of exploded stars but are much smaller in size. The pulsars transmit radiation which range from sending out radio waves to ultra-energy gamma rays which is intercepted by our planet, Earth in the same way as lighthouse beacons produce and send out a signal.
Matteo Bachetti who is the lead author on this study stated, "We took it for granted that the powerful (ULX`s) must be massive black holes. When we first saw the pulsations in the data we thought they must be from another source." (Bachetti, M.)
NASA`s Chandra X-ray Observatory and their Swift satellite has been monitoring other parts of the universe. One area known as the M82 galaxy gave NASA more data about supernovas and the data from this galaxy gave scientists information about X-rays that were coming from the M82 galaxy which turned out to be coming from a pulsar.
Paul Hertz who is the Director of NASA`s Astrophysics Division in Washington shed a little more light on this by saying, "When one telescope makes a discovery others with complementary capabilities can be called in to investigate it at different wavelengths." (Hertz, P.)
The newly discovered pulsar gave scientist`s information about its sensitivity to high-energy X-rays and the ability of the pulsar to measure its timing to signals. This information gave astronomers the ability to measure the pulse rate of 1.37 seconds. They also measured its energy output which is the equivalent to ten million suns or ten times more than that observed from other X-ray pulsars. This is impressive to scientists because this little pulsar only has the mass the same as our sun and is about the size of Pasadena, California.
NASA is planning on continuing and following-up on their study on pulsars. They are trying to find out all about the pulsars bizarre behavior. The NuStar team is planning on studying more (ULX`s) which means more than likely they will discover more pulsars.
NASA`s NuStar Telescope Discovers Shockingly Bright Dead Star, (www.nasa.gov/nustar) Retrieved 2014.
Baseball Season Still has the Post Season to go-
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Information about my Book
Author Contact Information: E-Mail: (email@example.com).
Title: Our Grand Ol` National Past Time " A Brief History of Major League Baseball "
Publisher: Tate Publishing.
Author`s Website: (ronanselm.tateauthor.com).
Publisher`s Website: (www.tatepublishing.com).
-Ron G. Anselm