XL-Calibur telescope launched to study black holes

Scientists from Washington University in St. Louis have launched a balloon-borne telescope to unlock the secrets of astrophysical black holes and neutron stars, some of the most extreme objects in the universe. The device known as XL-Calibur was launched from the Swedish Space Corporation’s Esrange Space Center, situated north of the Arctic Circle near Kiruna, Sweden, July 9.

El nacimiento de un monstruo magnético

Un equipo de investigadores, que incluía al astrónomo de NOIRLab André-Nicolas Chené, descubrió una inusual estrella con el campo magnético más poderoso jamás encontrado en una estrella masiva, que podría convertirla en uno de los objetos más magnéticos de todo el Universo, es decir, una variante de una estrella de neutrones conocida como “magnétar”. El hallazgo marca el descubrimiento de un nuevo tipo de objeto astronómico, una estrella de helio magnética masiva, y provee información sobre el origen de los magnétares.

Astronomers Find Progenitor of Magnetic Monster

A team of researchers, including NOIRLab astronomer André-Nicolas Chené, has found a highly unusual star that has the most powerful magnetic field ever found in a massive star — and that may become one of the most magnetic objects in the Universe: a variant of a neutron star known as a magnetar. This finding marks the discovery of a new type of astronomical object — a massive magnetic helium star — and sheds light on the origin of magnetars.

Staring into space: Physicists predict neutron stars may be bigger than previously imagined

That neutron star is the densest celestial body that astronomers can observe, with a mass about 1.4 times the size of the sun. However, there is still little known about these impressive objects. Now, a Florida State University researcher has published a piece in Physical Review Letters arguing that new measurements related to the neutron skin of a lead nucleus may require scientists to rethink theories regarding the overall size of neutron stars. In short, neutron stars may be larger than scientists previously predicted.

New NSF Physics Frontier Center Will Focus on Neutron Star Modeling in ‘Gravitational Wave Era’

A new Physics Frontier Center at UC Berkeley, supported by the National Science Foundation, expands the reach and depth of existing capabilities on campus and at neighboring Berkeley Lab in modeling one of the most violent events in the universe: the merger of neutron stars and its explosive aftermath.