Sunday, September 23, 2007

Photo in the News: Bizarre Object Found Circling Star

There are many different types of stars in the universe. Over time, they go through changes and life cycle, just like living things. They are born, they grow and they grow old. Some stars are far away from other stars and some are very close relatively. Scientists have recently discovered a pair of dying stars orbiting each other that exhibit some interesting behaviour.

An object recently detected orbiting a neutron star is among the strangest planet-mass bodies ever found, astronomers say.

Instead of circling around a normal star, the low-mass object --likely the "skeleton" of a smaller star-- orbits a rapidly spinning pulsar, or neutron star.

The neutron star spins hundreds of times a second --faster than a kitchen blender.

The odd mass, which was spotted on June 7 by NASA's Swift and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellites, orbits the bigger star in a little under once an hour.

Skeleton Star

Read more about it at National Geographic.com - Bizarre Object Found Circling Star.

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