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 XMM-Newton Home > Gallery Home > Endpoints of Stellar Evolution > Neutron Stars & Pulsars > RX J0720.4-3125

The isolated neutron star RX J0720.4-3125

Image
Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of F. Haberl and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

The image above can be displayed at full size and may be downloaded by clicking the image above.

About this Image

Spectral evolution of the isolated neutron star RX J0720.4-3125 as obtained by the EPIC-pn instrument over nearly 6 years. During the first XMM-Newton observation, the temperature inferred from the spectrum was at minimum, while four years later, the temperature had increased to a maximum. This effect can be interpreted by a changing viewing geometry. RX J0720.4-3125 is most probably precessing, i.e. there is a slow tumbling of the star, which exposes different areas of the surface over time which have different temperatures.

Investigator(s):  F. Haberl et al.

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XMM-Newton; Europe's X-Ray Observatory
Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by