A new type space objects that can be classified as DARK MATTER


29.10.03, the



Integral — powerful cosmic gamma-ray telescope of the European Space Agency, it seems discovered a new class of astronomical objects covered with a layer of dark matter.

This binary system, probably including a black hole or a neutron star, shrouded in a thick cocoon of cold gas. They are not visible to any other telescopes. Integral was launched a year ago to study the most energetic radiation sources in the universe.

Integral discovered the first of these objects, called IGRJ16318-4848, January 29, 2003. Although astronomers have not yet been able to accurately determine the distance to it, they believe that it is in our galaxy. Also, after some analysis, the researchers concluded that the new object can be a binary system consisting of super-dense object, such as a neutron star or a black hole, and a very massive companion star.

When gas from the companion star is absorbed faster and more compact object, it emits radiation of all wavelengths from gamma rays through to visible and infrared light. Approximately 300 binary systems such as this is known to exist in our galactic neighborhood, and IGRJ16318-4848, may have just been another. But something did not fit into the regular component of the search — for some reason this particular object has yet to be detected by other devices.

The astronomers who observed the area of spatial location of the facility on a regular basis, suggest that he is invisible because it is shrouded in a very thick layer of substance. If that is what is taking place, it is only the most powerful radiation — gamma rays can pass through the thickness of the shell. This might explain why space telescopes that are sensitive only to the low-energy radiation, do not see the object, while Integral, specializing in the detection of gamma-rays, discovered it.

To test this theory, astronomers used the European space observatory XMM-Newton, which observes the sky in the X-rays. XMM-Newton is also capable of receiving high-energy radiation fluxes and was able to check out this area of the sky for the presence of dark matter. Indeed, XMM-Newton was able to detect the object, as well as to confirm the existence of a dense 'cocoon' of cold gas with a diameter the size of Earth's orbit around the sun.

This gas forms a cocoon around some ultra-dense object, probably 'stellar wind', namely gas, released companion star. This cloud of cold gas traps most of the energy that passes through it.

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