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]

jul 272012
The Brightest Stars Have a Close Companion

A new study using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) has shown that most very bright high-mass stars, which drive the evolution of galaxies, do not live alone. Almost three-quarters of these stars are found to have a close companion star, far more than previously thought. Surprisingly most of these pairs are [continue reading]

jul 142012
Ungrateful Pulsar Is Destroying Its Companion

  Combining data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and observations with optical telescopes, a KIPAC scientist has discovered the most extreme ‘black widow’ pulsar yet. Artist’s conception of a black widow pulsar system In the catalog of metaphorical names in astronomy, one of the most fanciful is the class of pulsars known as ‘black [continue reading]