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View Full Version : Smallest structure ever detected outside solar system



ToSeek
2004-Jul-16, 04:37 PM
Tiny Hot Spot Found on City-Sized Star (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/hot_spots_040715.html)


Astronomers have detected a hot spot about the size of a football field on a city-sized star that is 500 light-years away.

It is the smallest physical structure found beyond the solar system, astronomers involved in the work said, though another recent study claimed to find beach-ball-sized structures in the picturesque Crab Pulsar.

The star is called Geminga. It is a burnt out shell known as a neutron star, the result of a massive star erupting long ago in a supernova explosion. Geminga contains about one and a half times the mass of the Sun. The material is in the form of neutrons -- able to huddle together more tightly than other matter -- into a sphere about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) across.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Jul-16, 06:02 PM
Geminga and it's strange exotic particles and unique stuff of , gamma-ray photons, tightly bound neutrons, anti matter materials of positrons twin of an electrons with opposite charge.. 8) sounds good but if it didn't shine so shines bright in X-rays would the Newton observatory know where to look :-? ? This looks like a very good discovery I hope to hear more

tracer
2004-Jul-16, 08:18 PM
Wow! I didn't even know we were capable of imaging neutron stars at all, and here we are imaging structures on neutron star surfaces! =D>

Tom Mazanec
2004-Jul-17, 02:00 PM
If it were a specific beach-ball sized object in the Crab Nebula, yeah. But if it's "billyuns and billyuns" you might as well list dust particles or gas molecules.

Diamond
2004-Jul-17, 08:02 PM
It's an atomic nucleus 12 miles across. Now that's weird.

Gullible Jones
2004-Jul-17, 08:19 PM
Yeah, it is. Not as weird as some things out there, though. (Or possibly out there. Ever heard of a quark star? Think single, huge particle 12 miles or so in diameter. Purely theoretical of course...)

BTW, are there any links to the other study?

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Apr-29, 10:56 AM
Tiny Hot Spot Found on City-Sized Star (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/hot_spots_040715.html)


Astronomers have detected a hot spot about the size of a football field on a city-sized star that is 500 light-years away.

It is the smallest physical structure found beyond the solar system, astronomers involved in the work said, though another recent study claimed to find beach-ball-sized structures in the picturesque Crab Pulsar.

The star is called Geminga. It is a burnt out shell known as a neutron star, the result of a massive star erupting long ago in a supernova explosion. Geminga contains about one and a half times the mass of the Sun. The material is in the form of neutrons -- able to huddle together more tightly than other matter -- into a sphere about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) across.

some more data on another neutron star
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=16736
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMLY9NQS7E_index_1.html
Using XMM-Newton data, a team of European astronomers have observed rotating hot spots on three isolated neutron stars that are well-known X-ray and gamma-ray emitters. The three observed neutron stars are 'PSR B0656-14', 'PSR B1055-52', and 'Geminga', respectively at about 800, 2000 and 500 light-years away from us

Ilya
2005-Apr-29, 02:17 PM
The star is called Geminga. It is a burnt out shell known as a neutron star, the result of a massive star erupting long ago in a supernova explosion.

I think the word "shell" is very unfortunate here. When people hear "burnt out shell" they imagine something hollow and thin. Exact opposite of neutron star. "Slagged core" may have been a better metaphor.

Tensor
2005-Apr-29, 02:37 PM
Yeah, it is. Not as weird as some things out there, though. (Or possibly out there. Ever heard of a quark star? Think single, huge particle 12 miles or so in diameter. Purely theoretical of course...)

Maybe not theoretical (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/new_matter_020410.html) anymore

Ricimer
2005-Apr-29, 03:19 PM
tracer, there is a difference between detecting it, and imaging it. :D

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Sep-24, 08:32 PM
another view from XMM-Newton X-ray observatory
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMDW5A5QCE_index_1.html#subhead3
formation of galaxy clusters