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Gamma-ray binary star system LMC P3, illustration

Gamma-ray binary star system LMC P3, illustration

C042/6289

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Credit

NASA / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCOTT WIESSINGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCOTT WIESSINGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gamma-ray binary star system LMC P3. Illustration showing the first gamma-ray binary found in another galaxy, based on data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other facilities. The most luminous yet seen, the dual-star system contains a massive star (right) and a crushed stellar core (left) which may be a neutron star, or a black hole. They orbit each other every 10.3 days and interact to produce a cyclic flood of gamma rays. LMC P3 lies within the expanding debris of a supernova explosion located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small nearby galaxy about 163,000 light-years away.

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