NASA discovers a mysterious green light that quickly disappears
NASA has noticed something mysterious in the deep space that it cannot quite explain – bright flashes of green and blue spots that appeared and disappeared in space second.
The NuSTAR X-ray Observatory was staring at the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946) and saw numerous spots of blue and green light that appeared and disappeared within weeks, according to a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory also witnessed the appearance and disappearance of the green spot, known as the ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX), confirming vision.
"Ten days is a really short time for such a bright object to appear," says Hannah Earnshaw, a doctoral student at Caltech, in a statement. . In this case, we were lucky to get a source that is changing extremely fast, which is very exciting. "[1
9659004] This image of the visible light of the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946) comes from the Digital Sky Survey and is obscured by data from NASA NuSTAR Observatory (in blue and green) Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech "/>
This visible light image of the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946) comes from the Digital Sky Survey and is obscured by data from NASA's NuSTAR Observatory (in blue and green). Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
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While researchers are quick to note that ULX is a common sight, also note that ULX are "usually long-lived." With this ULX there was "visible light … detected by an X-ray source", which probably excludes it being supernova.
So what is it? Researchers have suggested several theories about the appearance of the green spot, including the fact that it may be a black hole consuming another object.
"If an object gets too close to a black hole, gravity can pull that object apart by bringing debris into a tight orbit around the black hole," NASA wrote in the publication. "The material in the inner edge of this newly formed disc begins to move so fast that it heats up to millions of degrees and emits X-rays."
But given the fact that ULX-4 can be a recurring event, another possible explanation is that it is a neutron star. Neutron stars, roughly the same mass as the Sun, are able to draw on material, creating disks of debris that can generate ULX sources.
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However, if the neutron star, which would prevent the material from reaching the surface of the star.
"It would be like trying to jump on a carousel that spins at thousands of miles per hour," Earnshaw added.
The barrier effect will prevent the star from being a source of X-rays. However, the barrier may "pass away briefly", allowing the material to collapse and land on the surface of a neutron star, which could explain the sudden appearance and disappearance of ULX, according to researchers.
"This result is a step towards understanding some of the rarer and more extreme cases in which matter accumulates on black holes or neutron stars," said Earnshaw.
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