SPOTTED: Astronomers discovered a special kind of neutron star for the first time outside of the Milky Way galaxy! ⭐️ Neutron stars like this one spotted by our Chandra X-Ray Observatory (@nasachandraxray) are formed when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses. The very central region of the star – the core – collapses, crushing together every proton and electron into a neutron. If the core of the collapsing star is between about 1 and 3 solar masses, these newly-created neutrons can stop the collapse, leaving behind a neutron star.Since neutron stars began their existence as stars, they are found scattered throughout the galaxy in the same places where we find stars. And like stars, they can be found by themselves or in binary systems with a companion. Our data suggests that this neutron star is a rare variety that has both a low magnetic field and no stellar companion. Future observations at X-ray, optical, and radio wavelengths will help astronomers learn more about how this neutron star ended up in its current position outside our galaxy.
Credit: NASA/European Southern Observatory
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