Neutron stars are few kilometres sized objects that come to life when a massive star dies in a devastating supernova explosion. A few months ago a very peculiar neutron star has been discovered in an even more peculiar location of our Galaxy. A magnetar is neutron star surrounded by a magnetic field so intense that it is billion of times stronger than the strongest magnetic field ever produced in a physics lab on Earth. Place yourself in such a strong magnetic field and you won’t survive a whole second.One such magnetar has been discovered in the Galactic Center, very close to the supermassive black hole that exists there. Continue reading
Imagine to have a black hole spinnig around a normal companion star like our Sun. At some point of the evolution the black hole can start removing and devouring matter from the outer layers of its companion star, in a process known as accretion. During this phase the matter becomes so hot that it shines X-rays that are detectable from X-ray space telescopes orbiting around the Earth.