SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK: Rings Gored, Blue "Eye," More

SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK: Rings Gored, Blue
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February 26, 2009--Spotted by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the 200-million-year-old star J0108, seen here in an artist's depiction, is considered the oldest isolated pulsar ever observed using x-ray detection.

Particles spiraling around the star's magnetic fields and heated areas at its magnetic poles are thought to be responsible for the few x-ray emissions still emanating from the pulsar's cooling surface.

Most other pulsars of great age do not convert their dwindling energy into x-rays as well as J0108, which helps explain why it's more than ten times older than the next-oldest pulsar detected by x-ray.

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—Image by NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
 
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