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, … Read more

Purple space ‘lightning’ spews from stellar corpse, creating cosmic shock waves (photo, video)

A streak of purple “lightning” sprawls across the cosmos in a gorgeous new image from NASA. Light and energy twist and turn in an explosive relationship between a stellar corpse known as a white dwarf and a variable red giant star called R Aquarii (R Aqr) orbiting each other out in space. NASA’s Chandra X-ray … Read more

Powerful superflares discovered erupting from superdense stellar corpse

A visualization of a superflare on the recurrent nova v2487 Oph. (Image credit: LSU Prof. Robert Hynes, with his BinSim program) A rare type of white dwarf star has been erupting in the most extreme superflares of its kind ever seen, researchers find in a new study. The star in question, known as V2487 Oph, … Read more