NASA astronomers for the first time have discovered a neutron star outside the Milky Way galaxy.
"Neutron stars are the ultra-dense cores of massive stars that collapse and undergo a supernova explosion," NASA explained on their website.
"This newly identified neutron star is a rare variety that has both a low magnetic field and no stellar companion," it said.
A stunning image was captured by the European Souther Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Scientists evaluating and analysing the images collected from the telescope assume that it is a neutron star produced by a supernova explosion about two millennium ago.
In past, ten similar objects have been discovered by astronomers before. However, this is the first time ever that a neutron star was detected outside Earth’s galaxy.
Jocelyn Bell, a British astrophysicist discovered the first neutron star around 50 years ago.
Now, NASA is set to launch a new mission to get insights about neutron stars.
"The agency plans to launch the two-in-one Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer, or NICER, aboard SpaceX CRS-11, a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station to be launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket," NASA said in a statement.
"The mission will focus especially on pulsars — those neutron stars that appear to wink on and off because their spin sweeps beams of radiation past us, like a cosmic lighthouse," NASA stated.
The spacecraft will be powered by 56 X-ray mirrors that will help in gathering data.
What are Neutron Stars?
"Neutron stars are the ultra-dense cores of massive stars that collapse and undergo a supernova explosion," according to NASA.
Nearly five decades ago, Jocelyn Bell, a British astrophysicist, first discovered these spinning neutron stars.