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LOOK: ESA Spots Brightest Known Pulsar in the Universe

Mar 02, 2017 10:31 AM EST
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ESA discovered a one of a kind pulsar that is a thousand times brighter than expected. It is the brightest and farthest pulsar to be identified.
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The European Space Agency (ESA) spotted the brightest and farthest remains of a star, called a pulsar, in the universe. The pulsar is what's left of a formerly massive star. It was proven to be a thousand times brighter than previously thought.

Due to its distance, the pulsar is considered one of a kind. The ESA XMM-Newton detected the pulsar with its light traveling for 50 million light years before being spotted by any equipment.

Pulsars are also magnetized neuron stars that sweep regular radiation in two beams in space. This is what made it possible for ESA to detect the pulsar. When properly aligned, the beam becomes a flash that turns on and off as it turns. Once-massive stars explode at the end of their natural lifecycle resulting in the birth of pulsars.

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The latest discovery is considered to be the brightest ever detected officially called NGC 5907 ULX-1, according to a report. Its luminance is 10 times brighter than the previous record holder. It is also capable of releasing the Sun's 3.5 years worth of energy in a span of one second.

ESA's XMM-Newton had been studying the object for 13 years. NASA also contributed by providing additional research materials gathered by NASA's NuSTAR.

"Before, it was believed that only black holes at least 10 times more massive than our Sun feeding off their stellar companions could achieve such extraordinary luminosities, but the rapid and regular pulsations of this source are the fingerprints of neutron stars and clearly distinguish them from black holes," Gian Luca Israel, from INAF-Osservatorio Astronomica di Roma, Italy, lead author of the paper said in a press release.

Based on the study, the pulsar spinning pattern also changes over time. It used to take 1.43 second per rotation in 2003 and 1.13 second per rotation in 2014.

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