bright star
This image of the super-bright pulsar (shown here in magenta) was made using observational from three telescopes, NASA’s NuSTAR.

Excerpt from

Think our is bright? NASA says its NuSTAR space-based X-ray telescope has detected a dead star that pumps out as much energy as 10 million .

“You might think of this pulsar as the ‘Mighty Mouse’ of stellar remnants,” Dr. Fiona A. Harrison, professor of physics and astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and the principal investigator of the NuSTAR , said in a written statement.

The super-bright pulsar–the brightest ever recorded–is located about 12 million light- from Earth in the Messier 82 galaxy. It’s an example of a class of mysterious celestial objects known as ultraluminous X-ray sources, or ULXs.

“We took it for that the powerful ULXs must be massive black holes,” Dr. Matteo Bachetti, an astrophysicist at the University of Toulouse in France and the of a new study about the pulsar, said in the statement.

The X-rays are believed to be generated by the material as it heats up while falling into a dense , in this case a pulsar.

“How much visible light is emitted is actually an thing to know,” Bachetti told The Huffington Post in an email.

In any case, the surprising discovery has scientists scratching their heads.

“This is going to challenge theorists and pave for a new understanding of the diversity of these fascinating objects,” Dr. Jeanette Gladstone, a University of Alberta astronomer who wasn’t involved in the research, said in the statement.