High Schoolers Discover Mysterious X-Ray Source

X-Ray picture
Flaring source in NGC 6540 (via European Space Agency)

High school students’ data-mining project revealed an enigmatic X-ray source in the archive of the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-Ray Observatory.

A group of 12th graders in Italy—most not even born when XMM-Newton launched in 1999—teamed up with scientists at Milan’s National Institution of Astrophysics (INAF).

The collaboration was part of the Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky project (EXTraS), an international research study of variable sources from the first 15 years of XMM-Newton observations.

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