Neutron stars emit radiation across the spectrum, but observing in the X-ray band offers the greatest insights into their structure, the ultimate stability of their pulses as precise clock "ticks," and the high-energy, dynamic phenomena that they host, including starquakes, thermonuclear explosions, and the most powerful magnetic fields known in the universe.NICER's array of 56 telescopes will collect X-rays generated both from hotspots on a neutron star's surface and from its tremendously strong magnetic field. There are two hotspots on a neutron star, one at each magnetic pole, where the star's intense magnetic field emerges from the surface. Here, particles trapped in the magnetic field rain down and generate X-rays when they strike the surface. As a hotspot spins through our line of sight, we perceive a rise and fall in X-ray brightness.
New NASA Explorer Mission To Uncover Physics Of Neutron Stars And Demonstrate Game-Changing Navigation Technology
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