mrt 122013
The Third Closest Binary Star System Found

  A pair of newly discovered stars is the third-closest binary star system to the Sun, according to a paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The duo is the closest star system discovered since 1916. The discovery was made by Kevin Luhman, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State [continue reading]

mrt 022013
The Mysterious Structure of a Stellar-Mass Black Hole

  Like an immense donut (or toroid) that expands daily. That’s how Jesús Corral-Santana, a researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), describes the odd – hitherto unknown – structure of the binary system Swift J1357.2-0933, consisting of a ‘normal’ star and a stellar-mass black hole (which feeds off its companion star). The [continue reading]

nov 092012
Neutron Stars Weighed by New Method

  Astronomers have used INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton to look into the neutron star in IGR J17252-3616, a highly obscured X-ray binary system. The data show how the neutron star, which is being fuelled by the stellar wind from its companion, is substantially deflecting the flow of the accreted material. Comparison with numerical simulations provides an [continue reading]

okt 262012
Black Widow Pulsar in Tango Mortale Vaporizes Partner

  Max Planck scientists discover record-breaking millisecond pulsar with new analysis method.   Pulsars are the compact remnants from supernova explosions of massive stars. Some of them spin around their own axis hundreds of times per second, emitting beams of radiation into space. Until now, they could only be found through their pulsed radio emissions. [continue reading]

okt 132012
Stellar Winds in High-Speed Collision

  Two massive stars racing in orbit around each other have had their colliding stellar winds X-rayed for the first time, thanks to the combined efforts of ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Swift space telescopes. XMM-Newton observation of the core of the very massive cluster Cyg OB2 located in the constellation of Cygnus, 4700 light-years from [continue reading]

okt 012012
Yellow Supergiant Became a Supernova

  A group of researchers led by Melina Bersten (Kavli IPMU) has presented evidence that the yellow supergiant (YSG) star found at the location of supernova SN 2011dh in the famous nearby galaxy M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy) was indeed the SN progenitor, as well as produced a self-consistent model to explain how a star of [continue reading]