Skip to comments.Extreme 'Black Widow' Star Identified as Source of Mystery Gamma Radiation
Posted on 10/27/2020 2:11:13 PM PDT by MtnClimber
For more than two decades, astronomers have been systematically tracing mystery sources of high-energy gamma rays to their sources.
One, however, remained stubborn - the brightest unidentified source of gamma rays in the Milky Way. It seemed to be coming from a binary system 2,740 light-years away, but only one of the stars could be found.
Now, astronomers have solved the mystery and pinned down that second star by searching gamma-ray data obtained between 2008 and 2018. Together, the two stars constitute one of the weirdest binary systems we've ever seen.
"The binary star system and the neutron star at its heart, now known as PSR J1653-0158, set new records," said astronomer Lars Nieder of the Albert Einstein Institute Hannover in Germany.
"We have discovered the galactic dance of a super heavyweight with a flyweight: At slightly more than twice the mass of our Sun, the neutron star is extraordinarily heavy. Its companion has about six times the density of lead, but only about 1 percent the mass of our Sun.
"This 'odd couple' orbits every 75 minutes, more quickly than all known comparable binaries."
It's a bit of an oddball. The pulsar is rotating extremely fast, more than 500 times a second. Millisecond pulsars do rotate extremely fast; that's what accounts for the "millisecond" part of their name. But PSR J1653-0158 has one of the fastest rotation rates ever seen in pulsars.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencealert.com ...
Wow, a neutron star twice the mass of the sun and spinning 500 revolutions per second. That is 30,000 RPM!
Maybe it’s not spinning so much as it is vibrating?
Hope the balance is good, take some humongous wheel weights to get it smooth.
It all makes sense
And here I was reading the headline and thinking Hollywierd!
How the heck does something spin like that? What forces could cause that?
God used 1:8 twist when he shot that one out is all, the others he used his 1:20 barrel.
Their theory is that it comes from the material pulled from the star that orbited it very closely. The effect would be like an ice skater spinning with their arms outstretched and then pulling their arms in close.
The star rotating at 500 RPS is the little one, the one whose mass is 1% of the sun and has six times the density of lead. I doubt that something with twice the mass of the sun could rotate that fast even if it was at neutron star density. The tangential velocity of the perimeter would likely be a significant fraction of the speed of light (thats a guess).
Still, the little guy is pretty damned impressive.
500 rps is about 10% of the speed of light (assume 10 km radius of the neutron star).
I believe its the Neutron star, the larger of the two, that is rotating at 30,000 RPM. The diameter is estimated at about 20km. Someone do the math!
I see you did the math, I got a little over 10%. Amazing.
Im an engineer and system designer, with a Physics degree from 1974, and a lifelong fascination with Gods Uninverse and especially astronomy.
Meaning my ability to wrap my head around some really hard concepts is usually pretty good.
But Ill admit, the amount of energy represented by something with the mass of two Suns compressed into a ~20km diameter oblate spheroid spinning at 500 RPS truly boggles my mind.
All praise, wonder, and gratitude to the Almighty Creator who made such marvelous things, and granted us the ability to discover them.
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