American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) managed to capture a historic moment after it snapped a bright source of light at the center of supernova RCW 103 remnant in 2016. The distance of the heavenly body is about 10,700 light from our home planet. The breathtaking image was captured by Chandra X-ray Observatory and, thereafter, shared on NASA's Instagram page with a caption that the bright source at the centre of supernova remnant RCW 103 is a neutron star.
The image created a euphoria on the social media platform with more than 20,246 likes on the post. Many space enthusiasts were fascinated and took to the image-sharing social media platform to express their excitement.
A supernova can be defined as an astronomical process that takes place during the last remaining evolutionary stages of a gigantic star. A neutron star can be best described as the collapsed core of a massive star, with a total mass of around 10 to 25 solar masses. The mass can be even more if the star was specifically metal-rich.
In further explanation by the American space agency, a supernova is formed if the matter in a neutron star is firmly packed with each other. The weight of some neutron star material in the amount of a sugar cube could be as much as that of Mount Everest, said NASA.
What is RCW 103?
RCW 103 is said to be the most extreme among the pulsars or rotating neutron stars that scientists have ever come across. Experts have concluded that the neutron star seems to have similar properties as that of a high magnetized neutron star. On the other hand, scientists assume that its spin period is thousands of times longer than any other pulsar that they have ever observed.
The regular variation in the X-ray brightness of the source of this RCW 103 supernova, baffled the astronomers. It has been agreed that the RCW 103 supernova is quite distinctive when it comes to its features. Although, the slow periodicity has not yet been explained by the experts in all proposed models; however, the primary concepts were that its either a spinning neutron star, which is moving in a rather slow pace due to some mysterious slow-down mechanism or a faster-spinning neutron star.
A collective data from NASA's Chandra X-Ray, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, ESA's XMM-Newton has been studied by the astronomers. The conclusion that they have arrived at is that one single neutron star is supposed to spin rapidly following its birth in the supernova explosion and, thereafter, slow its pace steadily while losing its energy.