A Hidden Treasure in the Milky Way — Astronomers discover ultra-bright X-ray source

  • Art
  • June 25, 2024

X-ray binaries are intriguing systems consisting of two celestial bodies: a normal star and a compact, dead object such as a black hole or a neutron star that sucks material from its stellar companion. So far, a few hundred such sources have been identified in our Galaxy. When it comes to the most powerful phenomena in the universe, the release of gravitational energy in binary X-ray systems stands out as a very efficient process.

One of the first binary X-ray systems discovered in the cosmos is the system Cygnus X-3. Since the early 1970s, this binary system has been known for its ability to briefly appear as one of the most intense radio sources, but within a few days it darkens or disappears altogether. This peculiar feature prompted early efforts, coordinated by telephone calls, to unify astronomical observations around the world. The system's unique behavior during these short-lived, highly energetic events, which contrasted with its otherwise 'normal' nature, led to it being dubbed the 'astronomical puzzle Cygnus X-3' by RM Hjellming in 1973. Numerous efforts have been focused on understanding its nature since then.

The breakthrough in unraveling this puzzle was achieved thanks to the study of this system with the Satellite Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) launched by NASA in December 2021. According to Alexandra Veledina, an Academy Research Fellow at the University of Turku in Finland and the lead author of the study, the use of X-ray polarized vision provided insight into the configuration of matter surrounding the compact object in the closest vicinity to the black hole.

“We found that the compact object is surrounded by a shell of dense, opaque matter. The light we observe is a reflection from the inner funnel walls formed by the surrounding gas, and resembles a cup with a mirror on the inside,” explains Veledina. .

This revelation has led to the identification of Cygnus the event horizon, but rather is spewed away from the system.

“ULXs are typically observed as luminous spots in the images of distant galaxies, with their emissions enhanced by the focusing effects of the compact object's surrounding funnel, acting like a megaphone,” explains Juri Poutanen, professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy from the University of California. the University of Turku and co-author of the study.

'However, due to the enormous distances to these sources, which extend thousands of times further than the reach of the Milky Way, they appear relatively faint to X-ray telescopes. Our discovery has now revealed a bright counterpart to these distant ULXs found in our own Milky Way. .”

This important finding marks a new chapter in the investigation of this extraordinary cosmic resource and provides the opportunity for an in-depth investigation into the consumption of extreme matter.

Related Posts

  • Art
  • July 19, 2024
  • 2 views
  • 2 minutes Read
Scientists find new target for RSV drug

Irish scientists led by a group from Trinity College Dublin have discovered how the dangerous Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) disables our immune response, opening up a new and exciting target…

  • Art
  • July 19, 2024
  • 3 views
  • 1 minute Read
The Trillion Dollar AI Time Bomb

PartShare article via FacebookShare article via TwitterShare article via LinkedInShare article via email There’s a ticking time bomb in the AI ​​space: spending is too high and returns are too…

Leave a Reply

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

You Missed

Microsoft outage causes widespread airline disruptions and cancellations. Here’s what you need to know.

  • July 20, 2024
Microsoft outage causes widespread airline disruptions and cancellations. Here’s what you need to know.

As the Paris Games approach, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and others cheer on the women's sports event

  • July 20, 2024
As the Paris Games approach, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and others cheer on the women's sports event

Cash Yields 5% and Many Americans Are Still Missing Out

  • July 20, 2024
Cash Yields 5% and Many Americans Are Still Missing Out

History of US Soccer at the Olympics: USWNT Success Defines Them, USMNT Returns After 16 Years

  • July 19, 2024
History of US Soccer at the Olympics: USWNT Success Defines Them, USMNT Returns After 16 Years

Chinese make their own cooking oil after scandal raises concerns

  • July 19, 2024
Chinese make their own cooking oil after scandal raises concerns

Connecting an antenna to a TV: watch movies, series and sports for free

  • July 19, 2024
Connecting an antenna to a TV: watch movies, series and sports for free

A Guide to Your Weekend Viewing and Reading Pleasure: NPR

  • July 19, 2024
A Guide to Your Weekend Viewing and Reading Pleasure: NPR

What You Need to Know About Airline Refunds and Delays

  • July 19, 2024
What You Need to Know About Airline Refunds and Delays

NFL kickoff rules for 2024 could create excitement…and chaos: 'It's going to be a show'

  • July 19, 2024
NFL kickoff rules for 2024 could create excitement…and chaos: 'It's going to be a show'

European markets: open to closed

  • July 19, 2024
European markets: open to closed

Investors are betting on the 'Trump trade'. Here's what it means.

  • July 19, 2024
Investors are betting on the 'Trump trade'. Here's what it means.