An international team of scientists has uncovered a rare type of neutron star so elusive that it took three satellites to identify it.
The findings, made with ESA’s Integral satellite and two NASA satellites, reveals new insights about star birth and death in our Galaxy. We report this discovery, highlighting the complementary nature of European and US spacecraft, on the day in which ESA’s Integral celebrates 1000 days in orbit.
The neutron star, called IGR J16283-4838, is an ultra-dense ‘ember’ of an exploded star and was first seen by Integral on 7 April 2005. This neutron star is about 20,000 light years away, in a ‘double hiding place’. This means it is deep inside the spiral arm Norma of our Milky Way galaxy, obscured by dust, and then buried in a two-star system enshrouded by dense gas.
Chris Winkler | alfa
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