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Blowing bubbles – Wolf-Rayet stars put on dramatic show

15 June 2018 Astronomy Now

Energetic Wolf-Rayet stars near the end of their lives produce fast-moving stellar winds that can interact with the surrounding interstellar medium to generate spectacular bubbles in space. They rarely emit X-rays, but ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope caught one in the act.


Young magnetar likely slowest pulsar ever detected

9 September 2016 Astronomy Now

Using X-ray observatories, astronomers have found evidence for what is likely one of the most extreme pulsars, or rotating neutron stars, ever detected. The source exhibits properties of a highly magnetised neutron star, or magnetar, yet its deduced spin period of 6⅔ hours is thousands of times longer than any pulsar ever observed.