Although it has been many years since the Hubble telescope reached space, it is still helping astronomers and researchers to better understand the universe. Recently, the telescope has come across features around a neutron star which we didn’t ever see before, leaving men of science with the quest of figuring out what exactly has been discovered.
When gazing upon a neutron star, Hubble found an unusual emission of infrared light that surrounds the nearby star. From this discovery, two possibilities emerge, according to what scientists have figured out until now. The first theory speaks about a disc of dust that surrounds the star, while the other theory is connected to the possibility of a strong wind which comes from the neutron star and hits the gas in the interstellar space which acts as a medium for the star to move through.
But, let’s proper introduce it. The neutron star is called RX J0806.4-4123 and NASA stated that it found an area of infrared light which surrounds it. That area is about 200 astronomical units which translates into about 180 billion miles and it represents the first such signal which has been seen from a neutron star only in infrared light.
The first theory, the one with the dusty disk would suggest a ‘fallback disk’, material comprised of matter left behind by the progenitor star that still surrounds the neutron star. By interacting with this material, the pulsar became heated and slowed its rotation process. If confirmed, this theory could completely change what we think we understand about neutron stars.
The other possibility, dubbed the ‘Pulsar wind nebula’, assumes that the pulsar wind still blows out there. Such a gust is produced by shockwave formed by the movement of a neutron star through the interstellar medium at the speed of light.
Agnes is a technical writer, being in touch with reports to come up with the latest tech leaks.