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The awsome power of a neutron star

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posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 08:27 AM
Just thought id share this info with yous
A team of European astronomers has discovered a cosmic time bomb.

"We found a clock that ticks slower and slower, and when it slows down too much, boom! The bomb explodes," team leader Diego Altamirano tells NASA.

Altamirano and several fellow researchers at the University of Amsterdam used NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite to watch what happens in 4U 1636-53, a binary star system about 20,000 light-years away.

One of the system's two stars is ordinary, but the other is a superdense, superstrong neutron star that is constantly sucking gas off the other star's atmosphere and gathering it on its accretion disk, a spiral of material that orbits it like a skirt.

Several times a day, enough stolen gas builds up on the neutron star's surface that a blinding thermonuclear explosion takes place, quickly spreading to engulf the entire surface.

Each explosion releases more energy in a matter of seconds than our Sun does in a week — and the neutron star survives intact each time.

Normally, there wouldn't be any way to predict when such an explosion would happen. But RXTE detected a regular pattern of X-ray bursts that seemed to "tick" every 120 seconds, or two minutes.

But after a while, the "ticks" start slowing down. When reach the point where they're every 125 seconds, that's when the colossal explosions take place.

"We can predict when these explosions are happening. We have a clock that tells us when the bomb will explode!

[edit: added EX tags and source link]
Mod Edit: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by 12m8keall2c]

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 08:42 AM
Interesting, but I have questions about the nature of a "neutron star."
Yes, I know what it' supposed to be and yet . . .

Maybe, They are wrong! Maybe. Small probability. Becasue we have such a good track record of being right about things...

I love this guy. Dr. Van Flandern.

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 11:23 AM
The phenomenon being described here is well known to astronomers. It's called a nova.

(Edit to add: at least, that's what it's called when the explosion happens once. This clockwork regularity thing is another story.)

Astronomers used to think novae were exploding stars, but they now know that when a star explodes it causes a much bigger bang, which is called a supernova.

Novae are what happens when the accreting matter around a white dwarf star blows off, but as your extract explains this is a neutron star.

I think what is new is the ability to predict when the star will go nova.

Good post. I learnt something new from it. Thank you.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by Astyanax]

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 10:42 AM
Just saying, the physical properties of a neutron star are in question.

Neutrons have no been observed to have the ability to pack as densely as they're supposed to in a neutron star. So this isn't just supernova.

Neutron stars under current cosmology have to spin at a physically inexplicable rate to 'pulse' the way they do.

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