RXCaptures Thermonuclear Behavior of Unique Neutron Star

In October 2010, a neutron star near the center of our galaxy erupted with hundreds of X-ray bursts that were powered by a barrage of thermonuclear explosions on the star’s surface. On October 10, 2010, the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL satellite detected a transient X-ray source in the direction of Terzan 5, a globular star cluster about 25,000 light-years away toward the constellation Sagittarius. The object, dubbed IGR J17480–2446, is classed as a low-mass X-ray binary system, in which the neutron star orbits a star much like the sun and draws a stream of matter from it.

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