Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, along with radio telescopes around the world, they find and study a bizarre stellar pair consisting of the most massive neutron star, orbited by a white dwarf star. This strange new binary allows tests of Einstein’s theory of gravity — general relativity — in ways that were not possible up to now.
The “Black Widow” pulsar is moving through the galaxy at a speed of almost a million kilometers per hour. A bow shock wave due to this motion is visible to optical telescopes, shown in this image as the greenish crescent shape. The pressure behind the bow shock creates a second shock wave that sweeps the cloud of high-energy particles back from the pulsar to form the cocoon.
Astronomers believe they have found an entire planet made of diamonds. Scientists at the University of Manchester think they have unearthed a once-massive star in the Milky Way that has been transformed into a small planet made of the precious rock.