Scientists Have Discovered A Record-Breaking Black Widow Pulsar – Just 3000 Light Years Away From Earth

Advertisement

In a quest to explore new possibilities in space, researchers have discovered a generic and wild star whirling around, expeditiously named the “Black Widow pulsar.” Moreover, researchers have designated a special binary code, i.e., ZTF J1406+1222, which is actually the coordinates of this star in the sky. Interestingly, the star is almost 3000 light-years away from Earth and completes its orbit with its other companions in just 62 minutes due to its extremely high speed of spinning. While spinning, they radiate X-rays and gamma rays towards us at an interval of more than a second through which they can be detected. These types of pulsars are very short-lived as they inhale energy from the companion stars if any of them happen to pass close to the “Black Widow Pulsar”. They then utilize this energy to keep spinning at a fast speed until they die as a result of the comprehensive utilization of this energy.

The lead researcher and physicist from the MIT Department of Physics, Kevin Burdge, said, “This system is unique as far as black widows go because we found it with visible light, and because of its wide companion, and the fact that it came from the galactic center.” These systems are called black widows because of how the pulsar sort of consumes the thing that recycles it, just as the spider eats its mate”. To explore it further and find the existence of black widow pulsars in the universe, researchers decided to conduct a test by using data from the Zwicky Transient Facility based in California, and at last, they succeeded in determining the intense light coming from the star to be called Black Widow. The factual observation behind this process revealed that the black widow becomes stuck with the dayside of the companion stars, which adheres to a huge rise in temperature and a powerful channeling of light from companion stars as compared to their night side, which ultimately greased the wheels for the researchers to detect “Black Widow” using the aforementioned technique.

Astronomers Have Discovered Extreme 'Black Widow' Pulsar Only 3,000 Light-Years  Away - Science

It should be noted that the companion star tends to change its brightness levels by a factor of 13 every 62 minutes. Another exciting thing that the researchers came across is that when they tried to detect “Black Widow” through gamma rays and X-rays, they couldn’t locate it, which made them out of their depths and it sparked them off to a belief in the non-existence of this star. As Burdge said, “It’s a complicated birth scenario.” This system has probably been floating around in the Milky Way for longer than the Sun has been around. There’s still a lot we don’t understand about it. But we have a new way of looking for these systems in the sky.”

Hence, all things considered, the researchers have now started exploring the characteristics of the neutron stars that composed this Black Widow to solve this mystery from scratch.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.