Researchers from several universities have detected all phases of thermonuclear burning in a neutron star for the first time. The team discovered the “model burster” star located close to the center of the galaxy in the global cluster Terzan 5.
The star is the first of its kind to burst the way that models predict, and it could help explain why a model star like it has gone undetected for so long. Astrophysicists have been studying neutron stars for decades to try and understand how ultra dense matter behaves.
Researchers from MIT, McGill University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Amsterdam analyzed X-ray observations from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite. Scientists have developed models to predict how a neutron star should burst, based on how much plasma the star is attracting to its surface.