Space is still a very mysterious subject for us: Only 100 years ago airplanes were considered the pinnacle of human technology and the first artificial satellite of Earth, the Sputnik made history when it was launched all the way back in 1957.
However, time passed, and technology evolved exponentially. Today’s satellites and space probes send data from millions of kilometers away from Earth with ease. A recent discovery of a thermonuclear blast made the headlines of scientific publications worldwide, and the phenomenon was studied with the help of an orbital observatory.
NASA observed the outburst because it emitted a huge amount of x-rays that were detected by NICER, the agency’s orbital observatory.
Source of the blast
The cause of the phenomenon appears to be a far away pulsar, according to NASA. The pulsar itself is the stellar remains of a star that exploded in a supernova but wasn’t big enough to turn into a black hole.
Astronomers say that it all happened because of some helium that sunk underneath the surface of the pulsar and then fused into a big mass of carbon.
Helium explodes violently, unleashing a thermonuclear fireball above the entire surface of the pulsar, according to Zaven Arzoumanian, NICER head.
About the explosion
The phenomenon, even though it happened very far away, is a harsh reminder that the pace is a very dangerous place to be around
The energy that was released in 20 seconds is approximately equal with the same energy released by our sun in 10 days, research says.
Peter Bult, astrophysicists of NASA, said:
“We see a two-step change in brightness, which we think is caused by the ejection of separate layers from the pulsar surface, and other features that will help us decode the physics of these powerful events.”