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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ What caused the blue and green lights to shine in a distant galaxy? Scientists are struck by this interstellar mystery

What caused the blue and green lights to shine in a distant galaxy? Scientists are struck by this interstellar mystery



The bright rays belong to ULX-4, short for the fourth ultra-light X-ray source discovered in the Fireworks Gallery, about 22 million light-years from Earth, NASA said.

But this ULX has a shorter life than its predecessors. Within 10 days of NASA's observations with NuSTAR and Chandra telescopes, it went from undetectable to burning in light, then back to invisible just as quickly.

"Ten days is a really short time for such a bright object to appear," says Caltech researcher Hannah Earnshaw.

This could be a black hole or a neutron star

In an August study, researchers wrote that light may have come from a black hole while ingesting a star. Black hole gravity pulls astral objects at a distance, creating an orbit of rotating debris that warms millions of degrees and emits X-rays.

But black holes usually pick stars for much longer than 1

0 days, NASA said. The ULX-4 appeared and disappeared after a little more than a week, so a black hole may swallow it suddenly.

ULX-4 could also be a neutron star, scientists say. They form when giant stars aren't massive enough to produce a black hole, but collapse into an incredibly tight ball that slides the mass of the sun within a 12-mile radius, NASA said.

Neutron stars rotate so fast that its magnetic fields act as a barrier that stops debris from other astral objects that it attracts by striking the star and generating X-ray light. Only when a piece of material overcomes this barrier will the star emit bright X-rays like those in the photo.

"It would be like trying to jump on a carousel that spins at thousands of miles per hour," Earnshaw said.

This may explain the short observation period of ULX-4, NASA said. But if it does not shine again, its origin will probably remain an intergalactic mystery.


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