The Rapid Burster

Nustar_nustar170131a_1024

nustar_nustar170131a January 31st, 2017

Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

These four images show an artist's impression of gas accreting onto the neutron star in the binary system MXB 1730-335, also known as the "Rapid Burster."

In such a binary system, the gravitational pull of the dense neutron star is stripping gas away from its stellar companion (a low-mass star, not shown in these images). The gas forms an accretion disk and spirals towards the neutron star.

Observations of the Rapid Burster using three X-ray space telescopes -- NASA's NuSTAR and Swift, and ESA's XMM-Newton -- have revealed what happens around the neutron star before and during a so-called "type-II" burst. These bursts are sudden, erratic and extremely intense releases of X-rays that liberate enormous amounts of energy during periods when very little emission occurs otherwise.

Before the burst, the fast-spinning magnetic field of the neutron star keeps the gas flowing from the companion star at bay, preventing it from reaching closer to the neutron star and effectively creating an inner edge at the center of the disk (top left). During this phase, only small amounts of gas leak towards the neutron star.

However, as the gas continues to flow and accumulate near this edge, it spins faster and faster (top right), and eventually catches up with the spinning velocity of the magnetic field (bottom left and right).

NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by Caltech and managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. NuSTAR was developed in partnership with the Danish Technical University and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Virginia. NuSTAR's mission operations center is at UC Berkeley, and the official data archive is at NASA's High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center. ASI provides the mission's ground station and a mirror archive. JPL is managed by Caltech for NASA.

Provider: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array

Image Source: https://nustar.caltech.edu/image/nustar170131a

Curator: NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, Pasadena, CA

Image Use Policy: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/

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Image Details

Image Type
Artwork
Object Name
MXB 1730-335
Nustar_nustar170131a_128
 

Position Details

Position
RA = 0h 0m 0.0s
DEC = 0° 0’ 0.0”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
0.0 x 0.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Pisces
Nustar_nustar170131a_1280
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ID
nustar170131a
Subject Category
Subject Name
MXB 1730-335
Credits
ESA/ATG medialab
Release Date
2017-01-31
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://nustar.caltech.edu/image/nustar170131a
Type
Artwork
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
-, -
Reference Dimension
-, -
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-, -
Scale
-, -
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Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
URL
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
Country
Rights
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/
Publisher
Publisher ID
nustar
Resource ID
Metadata Date
2018-07-04T04:49:59Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.