Space station telescope sees X-ray hot spots merge on supermagnetic star corpse

For the first time, a powerful NASA telescope aboard the International Space Station observed merging “hot spots” on a weird star, known as a magnetar.

The telescope is called the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), and seeks to understand more about the extreme conditions present in super-dense, city-sized neutron stars and their variants. (Magnetars, for example, are a type of neutron star with a strong magnetic field.)