Weird Spinning Star Defies Explanation

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.wunderground.com/news/weird-spinning-star-20130124

    Scientists have discovered a puzzling spinning star that is spontaneously switching between two very different personalities, flipping between emitting strong X-rays and emitting intense radio waves.

    While radio frequencies are known to vary as the star changes personalities, the newfound star is the first time example of variability in X-rays as well. The star, called a pulsar because it appears to pulse, has astronomers perplexed.

    "When we look now to what is so far published in papers, nothing at this moment can explain what is happening," said the study's lead author, Wim Hermsen of the Netherlands Institute for Space Research and the University of Amsterdam.

    More at link.....

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    That's fascinating Reader thank you!
     
  4. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I don't believe I understand a single word of it! (But I appreciate Reader and Kat because they do.)

    But I know that "5 million years old" is very young in terms of the age of the universe. Is that a typo or could the spinning and alternating pulses be part of the birth process?
     
  5. Show Me

    Show Me New Member

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    Agreed...don't really understand it. Birth process makes sense to me.

    Will we ever find the 'end' and 'beginning' of the universe? This question has plagued me since I was 8 years old.
     
  6. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    Are they sure it is a star? Haven't seen kimster lately . . .
     
  7. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I'd let that dream go, if I were you.

    They now think there are infinite universes, so we'll never know when they all began or when they will all end. :great:
     
  8. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    I believe a pulsar is a neutron star that's a remnant of a supernova that isn't massive enough to produce a black hole. Regarding the age, I don't know how that was determined but they apparently have some way of figuring it out - guessing some sort of half-life business maybe. It would have been a large "regular" star though before it ran out of fuel and went supernova - that's my understanding anyway.
     
  9. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    So assuming the "5 million year" age is correct, it would refer to the length of time since the supernova, not the length of time of the entity in all forms. Yes?
     
  10. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    No Nova I don't understand most of it. :) I wish I did though!

    But, I found it fascinating because it's a new discovery! The discovery of this star challanges everything they thought they knew about stars.

    I can't wait until they figure out (if they figure it out) why it's doing this. What is making it categorically different from other pulsars?

    Here's another article:

    http://www.astronomy.com/~/link.aspx?_id=418c617f-ff97-4a7c-b34b-6f6c72ae6049

    and...

    Looks like they will have to rethink their theories. I find that fascinating when a theory is found in need to be reworked---don't ask me why I do, I just do :)
     
  11. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    That would be my guess which is worth close to what you paid for it.:waitasec:
     
  12. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Thanks for the link, Kat! and I can assure Nova and you that I don't understand it all either....like you thought it was very interesting that the scientists are stumped too...back to the drawing board to learn more about the stars!
     
  13. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    According to the link that Kat posted, they can determine the age by how much the star has cooled. Apparently they know how hot a neutron star, as per its size, is right after the supernova and the rate of cooling. Perhaps some astrophysicist can chime in to clarify.
     
  14. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I'm no atheist, but that's why science is ultimately more beautiful and exciting than religious dogma: ideas must evolve as new evidence is discovered!

    What a paean to the Creator are the wonders of the observable universe!

    ***

    Confidential to Reader: Thanks to various probes and recent work that has discovered over 400 planets in nearby solar systems, scientists have been "going back to the drawing board" a lot lately! I am finding all the unmanned discovery far more exciting than trying to send human beings into unforgivably hostile environments.
     

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