When powerful stars die, astronomers see it. The death of a star is a bright and spectacular spectacle. Meanwhile, the nucleus can continue to exist, becoming a superdense neutron star or black hole. Scientists have observed one of these supernova remnants, located 20,000 light-years from Earth. G292.0+1.8 – as it is called – has been identified in previous studies as an accelerating pulsar.
After studying images taken in 2006 and 2016, researchers using the Gaia telescope’s location of the pulsar in the Milky Way found that it was moving 30% faster than previously thought. The Chandra Observatory helped to confirm this – with the help of X-rays, scientists have found that the pulsar breaks its own “stuffing” at a speed of about 612 km/sec.
By comparison, the fastest star in the Milky Way revolves around Sgr A*, a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Its maximum speed is 24 km/sec. Researchers have used X-rays to study the unusual pulsar, said astrophysicist Xi Long of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
The authors of the new work wanted to study the object to see if it could help to learn more about the latest. According to the team, this pulsar is about 200 million times faster than the Earth’s motion around the Sun.
“Long and his colleagues wanted to study the object to see if it could uncover the history of the supernova by tracking its movement toward the center of the object in the opposite direction,” writes Science Alert. The team’s study, presented at 240 meetings of the American Astronomical Society, was accepted in The Astrophysical Journal and is available on arXiv.