Source: ESO Science Release eso1641
The polarisation of light emitted by a neutron star.
Image credit: ESO/L. Calçada
By studying the light emitted from an extraordinarily dense and strongly magnetised neutron star using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers may have found the first observational indications of a strange quantum effect, first predicted in the 1930s. The polarisation of the observed light suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence.(read more)