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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

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

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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