The Swift detection caught astronomers' attention
NASA shared a mesmerising image of a supernova captured by the Chandra X-ray Observatory telescope. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration shared the picture on its Instagram page which shows the rotating neutron stars, ever detected in 2016. It exhibits properties of a highly magnetized neutron star or magnetar, yet its deduced spin period is thousands of times longer than any pulsar ever observed, said NASA in a press release.
The composite image shows the remains of a supernova which is around 9,000 light-year from Earth, in three bands of X-ray light. In this image, the lowest energy X-rays from Chandra are red, the medium band is green, and the highest energy X-rays are blue. The bright blue X-ray source in the middle of RCW 103 is 1E 1613, according to the press release.
Check out the image here:
NASA in its Instagram caption reads, "Our Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory telescope and several other X-ray telescopes observed one of the most extreme rotating neutron stars or pulsars - ever detected in 2016. Swift Observatory helps detect gamma-ray bursts - large gamma radiation pulses which form when a massive star collapses, creating a black hole - using optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray light."
It further added, "This composite image shows the remains of a supernova, around 9,000 light-years from Earth, in three bands of X-ray light detected by @NASAChandraXRay, with low energy X-rays in red, medium in green, and the highest in blue."
"Image description: Blank space as black as #Midnight is dotted with tiny white stars across the image. A swirling labyrinth of colours of blue, green, yellow, purple, and red makes up the center of the photo surrounding the neutron star in bright blue," NASA wrote.
The image has amassed several likes and comments. Social media users were stunned after seeing the image, a user wrote, "Space Midnight should be a new colour." Another commented, "I see what you did there NASA!" The third commented, "This is soooo beautiful. Our universe can be so cinematographic," the third commented.
The Swift detection caught astronomers' attention because the source exhibited intense, extremely rapid fluctuations on a time scale of milliseconds, similar to other known magnetars. These exotic objects possess the most powerful magnetic fields in the Universe -trillions of times that observed on the Sun - and can erupt with enormous amounts of energy, NASA said in a release.