Zooming in on the very faint neutron star RX J1856.5-3754

This video sequence takes us from a broad view of the spectacular central regions of the Milky Way deep into the small constellation of Corona Australis. Here, as well as seeing clouds of glowing gas and dark regions of dust, we find the very faint neutron star RX J1856.5-3754. This extremely dense and magnetic object is the first place that indications of a strange quantum effect called vacuum birefringence may have been detected in new observations made using ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

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