Astrophysicists have found an ultra-bright X-ray source in a neighboring galaxy

An international team of astrophysicists explored the galaxy NGC 55 using the XMM-Newton telescope. They found that

a previously recorded X-ray source reaches a luminosity above 1.6 dudecillion (1.6×1039) erg/s. This is the second ultraluminous X-ray source in this galaxy.

The new radiation source is transit(temporary), its radiation is intermittent. But unlike most similar sources, characterized by a hard spectrum, NGC 55 ULX-2 has a soft emission spectrum, the authors of the study note. This object was first discovered in 2010, but then the luminosity was slightly more than 1038 erg / s, which did not allow it to be classified as ultra-bright.

Processed image of the XMM-Newton telescope with highlighted ultra-bright X-ray sources. Image: Robba et al., arXiv

In the new work, the researchers showed that the periodchanges in radiation from NGC 55 ULX-2 is about a month. The researchers believe that this may be due to the rate of accretion or the precession of the accretion disk.

Ultra luminous X-ray sources (ULX) areastronomical objects with extremely strong X-ray radiation. It exceeds the radiation from a million suns at all wavelengths. ULXs are less luminous than active galactic nuclei but more stable than any known stellar process.

Although numerous studies have been carried outULX and many hypotheses have been put forward, the nature of the sources of such powerful radiation has not been finally established. Detection of new objects can solve this problem.

Galaxy NGC 55 is one of the closest to the Localgroup of galaxies including the Milky Way. It is located at a distance of about 6.5 million light years from Earth. This is a barred spiral galaxy, located almost perpendicular to ours and visible from the edge.

Cover image: Galaxy NGC 55. Source: ESO

Read more:

Created a quantum computer that "went beyond the binary system"

The supersonic plane will fly at a speed of 2,000 km/h and cross the ocean in 3.5 hours

A compelling new theory emerges as to why the Mayan civilization collapsed