Wednesday, July 11, 2012

IGR J11014-6103 - The Fastest Moving Pulsar?

IGR J11014-6103: A pulsar found racing away from a supernova remnant about 30,000 light years from Earth.

Using Chandra, XMM-Newton, and the Parkes radio telescope, researchers have found evidence for what may be the fastest moving pulsar ever seen. The large field of view contains XMM-Newton X-ray data (purple) that shows a supernova remnant, combined with infrared and optical data (colored red, green and blue that appears as white) showing stars. The Chandra image in bright green shown in the inset ("Chandra Close-up") reveals a comet-shaped X-ray source well outside the boundary of the supernova remnant. Astronomers think that this object is a pulsar that may be moving at about 6 million miles per hour, which would make it one of the fastest ever detected if confirmed.

Photo credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UC Berkeley/J.Tomsick et al & ESA/XMM-Newton, Optical: DSS; IR: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF

Note: For more information, see IGR J11014-6103: Has the Speediest Pulsar Been Found?

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