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Brazilian astronomers may have detected a hypothetical “strange star”

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After several analyses, astrophysicists concluded that the object cannot be a neutron star, but a quark star, also known as a strange star.

Recently, Brazilian researchers from the  University of São Paulo  and the  Federal University of ABC re-examined the characteristics of a compact object in space called  XMMU J173203.3-344518  and concluded that it may not be a  neutron star , as previously believed, but yes a  strange star  (HORVATH, 2023).

This discovery could be a milestone for astrophysics, as the existence of strange stars is only  hypothetical  so far.

The object XMMU J173203.3-344518 has about  77% of the mass of the Sun , but occupies a  much smaller space , being able to fit inside the city of São Paulo.

This characteristic is already surprising, since neutron stars are usually much larger.

However, after a new distance estimate, the Brazilian researchers began to consider the hypothesis that the object could be a strange star.

Strange stars are theoretical objects consisting mainly of particles known as  quarks .

Quarks are the particles that make up protons and neutrons, which in turn make up atoms.

Under extreme pressures, quarks can present themselves as a new form of matter called  quark matter  (or strange matter).

Strange stars would therefore be composed mostly of quark matter.

While the existence of strange stars has yet to be confirmed, the possibility is intriguing.

So far, only neutron stars have been observed and studied, but the discovery of a strange star could lead to new discoveries and extend the knowledge of neutron star physics.

The formation of the strange stars is still a mystery, but some models suggest that they form when the pressure of quark matter dominates in the collapse of a supernova, releasing even more energy than usual.

That extra energy would lead to a larger ejection of mass, leaving behind a strange star.

The object XMMU J173203.3-344518 has all the characteristics of a hypothetical strange star, but the researchers caution that more detections are needed to confirm this conclusion.

The discovery is considered an important case and could lead to further research in the area.

The study of compact objects is a fascinating area of ​​astrophysics that can help us better understand the cosmos.

There’s still a lot to learn about these incredibly dense objects, but each new discovery brings us closer to a deeper understanding of our universe.

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