Astronomers Daniel Patnaude of CfA a Find Dead Stars at 612 Km Per Second

Astronomers Daniel Patnaude of CfAFind Dead Stars at 612 Km Per Second
 Astronomers Daniel Patnaude of CfAFind Dead Stars at 612 Km Per Second

Florida - When a giant star dies or disintegrates, the impact is enormous. The star will explode violently, creating a supernova that illuminates the cosmos. The core of the star, disintegrates into an ultra-dense neutron star, also known as a black hole.

And one of the effects of the explosion was to send the shattered core hurtling at an unbelievably high speed across intergalactic space. One such object was discovered and measured by data from the Chandra X-ray observatory. To be precise, a type of neutron star known as a pulsar.

The pulsar is traveling at 612 kilometers per second. It is one of the fastest objects in outer space ever recorded by astronomers.

But, actually not the fastest. Because the fastest star in the Milky Way galaxy is not an object that is the impact of a supernova explosion. Rather, it is a star orbiting Sgr A, the giant black hole at the center of the galaxy. At the fastest point in its orbit, the star is moving wildly at a speed of 24,000 kilometers per second.

But how do scientists measure the speed of objects in the galaxy? "We can see the pulsar's motion in the very sharp Chandra X-ray observatory," explained astrophysicist Xi Long of the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

Detection is done by looking at the remnants of a supernova that shines about 20,000 light years away, named G292.0+1.8. Through previous observations, a pulsar was caught speeding in it.

Long wanted to study the object to see if he could unravel the history of a supernova, by tracing its motion to the object's center in reverse. "We only have a few records of supernova explosions whose data can be used to analyze these objects," said astrophysicist Daniel Patnaude of CfA.

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