Astronomers discover the youngest ‘baby’ dead star yet – magnetor
The extremely magnetic and incredibly dense star is only 240 years old.
A suite of space-based telescopes operated by NASA and the European Space Agency has discovered the youngest known magnetor to date. At just 240 years old, this extreme, cosmic infant can help astronomers understand how these dead, dense stars form and how they develop.
In a study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters on Wednesday, the researcher described the Swift J1818.0-1607, a very young magnetar first sighted on March 12 by NASA’s Neil Gehl’s Swift Observatory, A powerful, explosive burst of X-rays was given. . Magnetars are a rare type of neutron star (collapsing cores of massive stars) with highly magnetic fields. They pack large amounts of mass into a small space, which produces large amounts of strange physical phenomena. Their magnetic fields can be up to 1,000 times stronger than your regular, run-of-the-mill neutron star.
This particular magnet is about 16,000 light years from Earth – practically our backyard – and is located in the constellation Sagittarius. Astronomers have detected only a few dozen magneters and none have been discovered shortly after they were formed.
“This object is showing us a time in the life of a magnet that we saw long before it was formed,” said Nanda Ri, an astronomer at the Institute of Space Sciences in Barcelona and co-author on the study. In a release.
The Swift Observatory was the first to spot J1818.0–1607. Astronomers revealed more about the characteristics of this rare star, following Swift’s observations with the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton Observatory, NASA’s NewStar Telescope and the ground-based Sardinia Radio Telescope in Italy. This helped reduce one age: 240. If further observations of the magnetar spin reinforce this hypothesis, it would be found to be the youngest magnetator.
“The amazing thing about [the magnetists] is that they are quite diverse as a population,” said Victoria Kaspi, an astronomer at McGill University in Montreal. “They are very strange and very rare and I don’t think we’ve seen the full range of possibilities.”
Tracking young magnators will help a growing body of research about esoteric and unusual events. Astronomers may be able to chart the changes that magnetism undergoes as they move from childhood to adulthood – and what impact aging has on their properties and emissions.
Magneters are also one of the prime suspects in the mystery of rapid radio bursts – brief radio signals that flare to life and quickly disappear. It envisages the extreme environment surrounding such stars, which can break these strange signals on Earth.