A super-dense neutron star nearly 4,400 light-years away is not afraid about showing off its true power. According to a recent study, the star, which is called PSR J1023+0038 is not alone and has a companion star. PSR J1023+0038 is shooting jets of gas into space with a a great power that scientists earlier thought was distinctive to black holes. These jets are are produced when the neutron star's gravity attracts gas with great power from its companion star, and some of the gas gets blasted outward. Dr. Adam Deller, astronomer at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy and main author of the study, said in a statement "Black holes were previously considered the undisputed kings of forming powerful jets, even when they were only fed by a little bit of material from their companion star. In comparison, neutron stars seemed to make relatively puny jets, which only became bright enough to see when the neutron stars were gobbling gas from their companions at a very high rate."
|Artist's illustration of the binary star system PSR J1023 0038.|
A neutron star is a relatively small cosmic object made up of narrowly overflowing neutron particles. They are made when a once-large star detonates into a supernova, leaving behind just the central core. Dr. James Miller-Jones, astronomer at the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy in Australia and also thevco-author of the study, said "And the central parts of the star collapse under their own gravity. These things are typically about one and a half times the mass of the sun and yet they're only 10-15 kilometers across, so they're incredibly dense."
For the study, scientists used the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico to take a precise and close look at the neutron star, which was initially discovered in 2009.