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Sayedur Rahaman
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Mysterious Cosmic Objects Erupting in X-rays Discovered

Scientists using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory ( and XMM-Newton ( found two mysterious objects in different galaxies which brighten in X-rays by a factor of 100 in about a minute before returning to previous level in about an hour. Those two objects could be a new and previously unknown class of objects.

In this image here, taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, you can see the galaxy NGC 5128 (Centaurus A, It is an elliptical galaxy ( located in the constellation of Centaurus (, about 12 million light-years away from Earth.

One of the mysterious objects is located in Centaurus A (the other one being located in NGC 4636) and marked with a white square in the image. The insets below show the object flaring up in X-rays. Though astronomers are not yet sure what causes this flaring, their ideas involve matter falling onto a black hole ( or a neutron star (

More information here:

NGC 5128 was also host to a supernova this year. SN2016adj was discovered by the Backyard Observatory Supernova Search in February 2016. You can read more on that and see an image taken by +Dylan O'Donnell in this post here:

What is a neutron star?

Neutron stars are extremely dense and massive stars made up almost entirely of neutrons.They are the result of a gravitational collapse of a massive star following a supernova ( While only about 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter they can have a mass of up to about three solar masses. More on that here:

Image credit: NGC 5128 NASA/CXC/UA/J.Irwin et al.

Thank you for your interest in this Astronomy/Astrophysics collection. Maybe add me on Google+ (+Pierre Markuse) and Twitter ( or have a look at the Space/Space Technology collection here:

#science #astronomy #astrophysics #ngc5128 #xrays #chandra #space #xrayflare #nasa #xmmnewton #blackhole #neutronstar #ngc4636
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