For first time, NASA was able to map the whole surface of a neutron star (read: the cosmic carcass of a huge star after it detonates at a huge supernova explosion).
The neutron star, J0030+0451 is located inside the Pisces constellation. It’s just 16 miles broad, according to Astronomy, but nonetheless has at least 1.3 times the bulk of our Sun. By with NASA’s x-ray-measuring satellite NICER, scientists were able to build a map of detail, helping them build outside their (and our) understanding of the world like never before.
The discovery, described in a fresh series of papers printed in The Astrophysical Journal, took approximately a month to build NASA’s supercomputers. Compiling the several recordings and dimensions from this project into a coherent map was such a intricate task it would have taken about a decade to perform on a typical computer, based on Astronomy.
It’s uncertain exactly what what scientists wish to use the map . NASA announced plans to recreate the map using much more neutron stars, Astronomy accounts, however in the meantime, it is well worth taking a moment and just enjoying how cool that this astronomical achievement is.
READ MORE: Astronomers map a neutron star’s surface for the first time [Astronomy]
More on neutron stars: Scientists Have Learned Why Neutron Stars Shine So Bright