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NICER Finds X-ray Pulsar in Record-fast Orbit

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Scientists analyzing the first data from the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission have found two stars that revolve around each other every 38 minutes. One of the stars in the system, called IGR J17062-6143 (J17062 for short), is a rapidly spinning, superdense star called a pulsar. The discovery bestows the stellar pair with the record for the shortest-known orbital period for a certain class of pulsar binary system. The data from NICER also show J17062's stars are only about 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) apart, less than the distance between Earth and the Moon. Based on the pair's breakneck...
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