A star has been discovered speeding through the Milky Way at 4 million mph
Astronomers have discovered a star that rushes through space at a dizzying speed of as much as 4 million kilometers per hour. The star, called PSR J0002+6216, is one of the fastest stars ever observed. Scientists believe it reached its speed thanks to a nearby supernova.
Most stars dignify through space by slowly circling the galactic center of the. But not PSR J0002+6216 in the skrócie called J0002. Astronomers using the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array have discovered that J0002 is traversing the cosmos at a staggering speed of 4 millionóin k/h. At this speed the subróż from Earth to the Moon would take 6 minutes.
J0002 is a pulsar – a type of highly magnetized neutron star with an extremely fast rotation rate, during which itórego emits streams of electromagnetic radiation. These are the nuclei of huge stars, które collapsed. If the radiation beam is directed toward Earth, we can observe such an object – Something like a cosmic lighthouse.
– With a narrow tail and the right viewing angle, we can trace the history of this pulsar right back to its birthplace, said Frank Schinzel of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in New Mexico.
Pulsar J0002 was discovered in 2017. Located about 6,500 light years from us in the constellation Cassiopeia. O rotates 8.7 times per second, producing a pulse of gamma radiation with each rotation. J0002 is located about 53 light years from the center of the supernova remnant called CTB 1.
Its rapid motion through interstellar gas creates shock waves, whichóre producing a tail of magnetic energy and particles. This tail extends 13 light years and clearly points to the center of CTB 1.
With the data obtained, astronomers were able to measure how fast and in what direction the pulsar is moving. The results of the calculations seem to support the theory that the pulsar was ejected at high speed by the supernova responsible for CTB 1, która took place about 10,000 years ago.
– Measuring the pulsar’s motion and tracking it backwards shows that it was born from the remnants of a supernova explosion, said astrophysicist Matthew Kerr of the Naval Research Laboratory.
Scientists believe that the explosion of supernova CTB 1 may have been asymmetric, which somehowób caused the pulsar to accelerate to enormous speeds. – Further study of this object will help us better understand how theób these explosions are able to „dig ”neutron stars with such a high speed – Schinzel pointed out.
The debris of the explosion – the remains of a supernova – originally expanded faster than the motion of the pulsar. But millennia of interaction with interstellar gas have slowed this motion. However, the pulsar, whichóry behaves like a cannonball, this did not prevent it. It caught up with and overtook the ruins of the supernova some 5,000 years after the explosion.
J0002 is speeding through space five times faster than the average pulsar. It is faster than 99 percent of the objectów, którym measured speed and will eventually escape our galaxy.
Other neutron stars also reach dizzying speeds. The fastest of these is RX J0822-4300, która races through space at a speed of 1,500 kilometersóin per second (J0002’s velocity is 1130 km/s). But the average speed of pulsarów is about 240 kilometersów per second.
The research team’s results were presented at a meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society in Monterey, California. The publication on J0002 has wkrótce appear on the pages of „The Astrophysical Journal Letters”.