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MIT researchers may have spotted a rare ‘black widow’ system 3,000 light-years from Earth

The universe is full of enigma and mysteries. Millions of objects are spinning unnoticed. Of course, there is no shortage of such objects hidden in our own Milky Way galaxy. We know very little about them, yet they continue to affect our lives in many ways. While trying to study these objects, astronomers discovered a new object about 3,000-4,000 light-years away that gave off a mysterious glow of light. They suspect that the object may be an elusive “black widow” star, a fast-rotating pulsar or neutron star that slowly grows by consuming its smaller companion star.

Black widow stars are very rare because astronomers have only been able to detect two dozen stars in the Milky Way. But researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who discovered this problematic object believe it to be the strangest and most bizarre black widow pulsar of all. They named the newest candidate ZTF J1406 + 1222.

The researchers said the new orbiter had the shortest orbital period yet, with the pulsar and the companion star orbiting each other every 62 minutes. This system is unique in that it hosts a third star orbiting two inner stars every 10,000 years. Added In an announcement on the MIT website.

This raises the question of how the three-star system came to be. MIT researchers have tried a theory for its origin: they believe the system originated from a dense cluster of older stars known as the global cluster. This particular system may be distant from the cluster to the center of the Milky Way.

“This system will probably float in the Milky Way longer than it does around the Sun,” said Kevin Birdz, a leading researcher and physicist at MIT’s physics department.

Their study was done Published In the journal Nature. This explains how the researchers used the new method to identify this triple star system. Most black widow binaries are detected by gamma and X-ray radiation emitted by a central pulsar, but MIT researchers use visible light to detect this system.

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