Pulsed Heartbeat Star
XMM-Newton has detected periodic X-ray emission, or the pulsed heartbeat of a new type of star. Collecting the X-rays from the so-called rotating radio transient has confirmed the nature of the underlying celestial object and given astronomers a new insight into these exotic objects. The observations were made using XMM-Newton's European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC), which targeted the celestial object RRAT J1819-1458. Astronomers observed the object for around 12 hours and detected pulsations in the X-ray data that show the source to be rotating once every 4.26 seconds.
Previously, astronomers had only seen radio outbursts from this object. It erupts every three minutes or so with a brief burst of radio emission lasting just 3 milliseconds. Such behaviour defines the object as a rotating radio transient.
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