A composite image of supernova 1E0102.2-7219 contains Chandra X-rays (blue and purple), visible light data from the VLT MUSE instrument (bright red) and additional Hubble data (dark red and green). At its center is a neutron star, the ultra-dense core of a mbadive star that collapses and suffers a supernova explosion. (Photo: X-ray (NASA / CXC / ESO / F.Vogt and others); Optics (ESO / VLT / MUSE and NASA / STScI)
(WASHINGTON) Circa – NASA astronomers have discovered a neutron star outside the Milky Way for the first time.
"Neutron stars are ultradense nuclei of mbadive stars that collapse and undergo a supernova explosion," NASA explains on its website. "This recently identified neutron star is a a rare variety that has a low magnetic field and no stellar companion. "
The striking image was captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the VLT (Very Large Telescope) of the European Southern Observatory in Chile.
Scientists badyzing the data collected from the telescope believe that it is an isolated neutron star created in a supernova explosion about two millennia ago.
Ten similar objects have been identified by astronomers before However, this is the first time it is detected outside of our galaxy.
It was Jocelyn Bell, a British astrological ophthalmologist who first discovered these rotating neutron stars almost 50 years ago.
Now, NASA will launch a mission to learn more about neutron stars.
"The agency plans to launch the Inside Composite Scanner of two-in-one neutron stars, or NICER, aboard SpaceX CRS-11, a cargo refueling mission to the International Space Station to launch aboard a rocket Falcon 9, "NASA said in a statement.
"The mission will focus especially on pulsars, those neutron stars that seem to blink intermittently because their turn sweeps through beams of radiation that cross us, like a cosmic beacon," NASA said.
The spacecraft will be equipped with 56 x-ray mirrors that will help collect data and observations from pulsars.