Astronomers have spotted a cosmic “black widow” star 3,000-4,000 light-years away from us, absorbing neighboring light. However, that is not all – it takes the couple just 62 minutes to move around each other, which is an incredibly short amount of time.
This “black widow” is a Pulsar, a rotating neutron star that emits electromagnetic radiation from the poles. Because of this it is not really difficult to notice it.
The team of specialists used an algorithm to detect objects with variable brightness at 80-minute intervals in data obtained by the telescope.
According to the researchers, as a rule, the absorption process should increase the distance between the pairs, but in the case of J1406 + 1222 this is not the case. Consequently, the formation of their close orbit is quite strange.
According to the authors of the paper, the pulsar destroys a relatively small brown dwarf star. Under its influence, one side of the latter is colder, so when the hot hemisphere is directed towards the earth, the brightness of the whole system increases. Also, they look like a third companion located at a greater distance. Unlike this pair, its orbital period is 10,000 years.
Scientists will try to confirm the authenticity of these data with the information collected by the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Pulsar “Black Widow” Star