Researchers at MIT may have detected a rare black Widow system as early as 3,000 light years from Earth

Researchers at MIT may have detected a rare black Widow system as early as 3,000 light years from Ea ...

Millions of objects are undiscovered in our very own Milky Way galaxy. Despite their speed, they continue to impact our lives in a variety of ways. While the effort to investigate these objects continues, astronomers have discovered a new object, roughly 3,000-4,000 light years away, giving out mysterious flashes of light. This object may be the elusive black widow star, or a rapidly spinning neutron star, who grows slowly consuming its smaller companion star.

Since astronomers have seen only about two dozen of black widows in the Milky Way, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) believe this might be the weirdest and most bizarre black widow pulsars of all time. ZTF J1406+1222 has been named.

According to MIT''s website, the new candidate has the most rapid orbital period yet established, with the pulsar and his companion star circling each other every 62 minutes. The system is unique because it appears to host a third star that orbits around the two inner stars every 10,000 years.

The MIT researchers have discovered that the system may have originated from a large group of old stars known as a globular cluster. This particular system might have drifted away from the cluster towards the centre of the Milky Way.

According to a MIT professor, this system is likely to be circulating in the Milky Way for longer than the sun has been around.

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The results from this study have been published in the journal Nature. It demonstrates how the researchers used a fresh approach to detect this triple-star system. Most black widow binaries are detected through gamma and X-ray radiation emitted by the central pulsar, but MIT researchers utilize visible light to detect this system.