Thursday, March 03, 2022

‘Powerful Warm Wind’ Seen Blowing through Universe After Neutron Star Devours Neighbor - Tasnim News Agency

neutron star whilst it consumes matter from a nearby star.

(Tasnim) – Using the most powerful telescopes on Earth and in space, a team of astronomers has found for the first time blasts of hot, warm, and cold winds from a neutron star whilst it consumes matter from a nearby star.

The discovery provides new insight into the behaviors of some of the most extreme objects in the universe.

Low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) are systems containing a neutron star or black hole. They are fuelled by material ripped from a neighboring star, a process known as accretion. Most accretion occurs during violent eruptions where the systems brighten dramatically. At the same time, some of the material that spirals in is propelled back into space in the form of disc winds and jets.

The most common signs of outflowing material from astronomical objects are associated with “warm” gas. Despite this, only winds of “hot” or “cold” gas have been observed in transient X-ray binaries, until now.

In this new study, a team of researchers from eleven countries, led by the University of Southampton, studied the recent eruption of the X-ray binary known as Swift J1858. They used a combination of telescopes, including NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton satellite, the European Southern Observatory Organization’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Spanish Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC).

The results, published in the journal Nature, showed persistent signatures of a warm wind at ultraviolet wavelengths occurring at the same time as signatures of a cold wind at optical wavelengths. This is the first time that winds from such a system have been seen across different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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