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Source: The post is based on the article “Scientists spot 1st gamma-ray eclipses from strange ‘spider’ star systems” published in The Space on 30th January 2023.
What is the News?
Astronomers have detected the first gamma-ray eclipses from a “spider” star system.
What are Spider Systems?
Spider systems develop because one star in a binary evolves more faster than its partner. When the more massive star goes supernova, it leaves behind a pulsar.
This stellar remnant emits beams of multiwavelength light, including gamma rays, that sweep in and out of human view, creating pulses so regular they rival the precision of atomic clocks.
Types: Spider systems are divided into two categories:
Black widow system: It contains a pulsar and a stellar companion with less than 5% of the sun’s mass.
Redback system: It partners a pulsar with a larger stellar companion that has between 10% and 50% of the mass of the sun.
What is a Binary Star?
A binary system is one in which two stars orbit around a common centre of mass, that is they are gravitationally bound to each other.
What are Pulsars?
A pulsar is a special kind of neutron star, which is the ultra-dense leftover core of a massive star.
Pulsars emit beams of radiation that sweep out in circles as the pulsar spins. When those beams flash over Earth, one can see them as regular, repeating pulses of radio emission.