RXTE Sees Eclipses from Fast X-ray Pulsar
Astronomers using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) have found the first fast X-ray pulsar to be eclipsed by its companion star. Further studies of this unique stellar system will shed light on some of the most compressed matter in the universe and test a key prediction of Einstein's relativity theory.
Known as Swift J1749.4-2807 — J1749 for short — the system erupted with an X-ray outburst on April 10. During the event, RXTE observed three eclipses, detected X-ray pulses that identified the neutron star as a pulsar, and even recorded pulse variations that indicated the neutron star's orbital motion. More information here.
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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
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Various Small Astrophysics projects
Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:00AM
Produced by - Robert Crippen