NASA discovers a unique object that defies physics

Eva Homicio



NASA has reported a new discovery of a celestial object that is breaking the laws of physics. The object, known as an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX), shines around 10 million times brighter than the sun, which violates the Eddington limit, a physical law that determines the maximum brightness of an object of a given size. 

Typically, if an object breaks this limit, it should destroy itself, but ULXs seem to exceed it by up to 500 times without doing so. This new discovery comes from observations made by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), which confirms that one ULX in particular, called M82 X-2, is defying the Eddington limit.

Scientists have previously thought that ULXs could be black holes, but M82 X-2 is actually a neutron star, which is the remnant of a dead star's core. Neutron stars have an incredibly strong gravity on their surface, which is around 100 trillion times stronger than that of Earth. 

Any material pulled onto their surface has an explosive effect, so it was previously believed that the extreme brightness of ULXs could be the result of an optical illusion. However, the new research shows that this is not the case, and something is truly bending the rules.

The researchers found that M82 X-2 consumes about 1.5 Earths' worth of material each year, which it siphons off of a neighboring star. When this material hits the neutron star's surface, it produces the off-the-charts brightness observed. The team thinks that the intense magnetic field of the neutron star changes the shape of its atoms, allowing the star to stick together even as it gets brighter and brighter.

These findings provide evidence that something must be happening with M82 X-2 that allows it to break the Eddington limit. The research team believes that the observations of this celestial object will provide insight into the incredibly strong magnetic fields that are impossible to reproduce on Earth. 

Astronomers have to wait for the universe to show them its secrets, and this discovery highlights the beauty of astronomy.

Earlier we reported: A new study from the University of Toronto has found that cancer-causing chemicals called short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are present in over 87% of products tested, including toys and electronics sold in Canada, despite being banned for a decade.

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