Powerful Gamma-ray Source Identified

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Video imagery:

·       Fermi all-sky 60-month image: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration
·       Artist's impression of an evolving white dwarf and millisecond pulsar binary system: NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva/Spaceengine. Acknowledgment: M. Zamani (NSF's NOIRLab)
·       Animation - millisecond pulsar binary accreting material: NASA

Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak, Joseph Olmsted
Science review: Dr. Frank Summers
Education review: Jim Manning
Music from Music for Non-Profits

Nebulas with purple, red, blue, pink, orange, yellow and brown gases, Gas giants, Star clusters in clouds of stellar material, Spiral galaxies.
Text, NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSE. FEBRUARY 1, 2022. FERMI GAMMA-RAY SKY MAP. POWERFUL GAMMA-RAY SOURCE IDENTIFIED. Astronomers now know the source of one of the brightest gamma-rays ever detected by NASA's Fermi space telescope.
A horizontal line of bright yellow in the middle of a flame-like red perimeter on a background of blue with intermittent red dots throughout the blue.
Text, Fermi often collaborates with other telescopes to determine the source of high-energy gamma-rays.
The SOAR telescope revealed that the second-brightest unidentified gamma-ray source in the sky comes from a binary star system.
One member of the pair is a dying star that is expelling its outer material, which is being consumed by its partner, a rapidly spinning neutron star called a pulsar.
A large bright white star with a bluish hazy rim emits gas into space. A tiny bright white star hangs in the distance. Text, ILLUSTRATION, NOIR LAB.
Matter from the dying star flows onto the companion, increasing its spin to hundreds of times every second.
A large yellowish reddish star orbits a tiny white star that sucks in a stream of gaseous material from the larger star. Text, ACCRETION ANIMATION.
It is the first binary of this type found at this early "spin-up" stage, an exciting view into the stellar lifecycle.
As the material forms a spiral around the small white star, it spins quickly and emits two cones of bright white from either side.
Text, This news was brought to you in part by the SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.