NASA has announced that it has made some new measurements of pulsars using its inner composition probe (NICER), according tomedia Slash Gear. The instrument is an X-ray telescope mounted on the International Space Station.
Scientists have used NICER to obtain the first accurate and reliable measurement of the size and mass of a pulsar and the first “hot spot” map of its surface. The pulsar measured by NASA is J0030 , or J0030. It is located in the constellation Pisces, about 1,100 light-years from Earth.
When scientists used NICER to measure pulsars, the results revealed that the shape and position of “hot spots” on the pulsar’s surface was more strange than initially thought. The team found that J0030 rotates 205 times per second. Based on observations from July 2017 to December 2018, the two groups of scientists used independent methods to map “hot spots” and produced similar results on mass and size.
A team of researchers found that pulsars are about 1.3 times the mass of the sun and only 15.8 miles in diameter. The second team determined that the pulsar mass was about 1.4 times the mass of the sun and 16.3 miles in diameter. The density of pulsars is so great that the effectof of gravity causes them to appear as if the entire space-time space is distorted.
In their view, space-time distortions make stars look larger than they actually are, the team said. The observations found that hot spots include a small, circular hot spot and another long, crescent-shaped hot spot. Theoretical predictions suggest that hot spot positions and shapes may vary. The study is the first to map these surface features.