The Hubble Space Telescope showed a swarm of stars in a space hive: what is its peculiarity (photo)
send to Telegram
share on Facebook
send to Viber
- < p>
send to Whatsapp
send to Messenger
Very unique objects are hidden in the globular cluster of stars shown in the image.
The Hubble Space Telescope took an image of a globular star cluster called NGC 6440, which lies 28,000 light-years away. This cluster is a region of space with an unusually dense arrangement of stars, but it also hides rapidly rotating pulsars, writes Space.
U Focus. Technology has its own Telegram channel. Subscribe to keep up to date with the latest and exciting news from the world of science!
Globular star cluster NGC 6440
In a new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, the stars look like a swarm of bees circling the space hive. The globular cluster of stars that fell into the lens of the telescope is located in the constellation Sagittarius, and the distance of 28 thousand light years is not so far by cosmic standards.
Hundreds of thousands are very close to each other in this globular cluster stars only 1 light year apart. For comparison, the distance to the nearest star to the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is 4 light years, but in general in our galaxy the average distance between stars is 5 light years.
The globular star cluster NGC 6440 was discovered back in 1786 by astronomer William Herschel and the Hubble telescope made as many as five observations of this object. But only one of them concerned the general information that the cluster can provide. The remaining observations were focused on studying rapidly rotating neutron stars or pulsars hidden inside a globular cluster.
Unusual neutron stars
To date, scientists are aware of eight pulsars that are here, which have a magnetic field, the strength of which is a quadrillion times (or a thousand trillion times) greater than the strength of the Earth's magnetic field. In addition to the fact that these neutron stars rotate very quickly, they also constantly release streams of very powerful radiation.
Pulsars, like all neutron stars, appear as a result of the death of a giant star and represent the most dense objects in space despite a diameter of about 20 km. Scientists believe that these stars are so dense that a teaspoon of matter here weighs about 4 billion tons.
Special millisecond pulsars
Two of the eight pulsars in NGC 6440 were discovered last year. These are millisecond pulsars named NGC 6440G and NGC 6440H. These pulsars are called millisecond because the period of their rotation around its axis is less than 30 milliseconds. By the way, scientists know of pulsars that can rotate in 1.4 milliseconds. This means that a millisecond pulsar can make a complete revolution around its axis from 2000 to 43,000 times per minute.
Astronomers suggest that pulsars get such an incredible rotation speed due to the fact that they appear in binary star systems. It is the constant collection of matter from the companion star that makes the pulsar spin very quickly.
As for the pulsars NGC 6440G and NGC 6440H, the first has a rotation period of 5.22 milliseconds, and the second has a rotation period of 2.85 milliseconds. That is, NGC 6440G makes a full rotation around its axis 11,500 times per minute, and NGC 6440H – 21,050 times per minute.
Focus already wrote that NASA are considering ways to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been in space for 33 years. Perhaps SpaceX and a well-known billionaire will come to the aid of NASA.
As Focus already wrote, scientists have discovered a new type of supernova that can destroy the planet's atmosphere. Should the inhabitants of the Earth be afraid of such a stellar explosion, astronomers said.