Chandra X-ray Observatory studies extraordinary magnetar — ScienceDaily

In 2020, astronomers included a new member to an exceptional relatives of exotic objects with the discovery of a magnetar. New observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory enable support the concept that it is also a pulsar, that means it emits frequent pulses of mild.

Magnetars are a kind of neutron star, an exceptionally dense item mostly produced up of tightly packed neutron, which types from the collapsed main of a massive star for the duration of a supernova.

What sets magnetars aside from other neutron stars is that they also have the most effective regarded magnetic fields in the universe. For context, the energy of our planet’s magnetic subject has a benefit of about a single Gauss, though a refrigerator magnet measures about 100 Gauss. Magnetars, on the other hand, have magnetic fields of about a million billion Gauss. If a magnetar was situated a sixth of the way to the Moon (about 40,000 miles), it would wipe the knowledge from all of the credit history playing cards on Earth.

On March 12, 2020, astronomers detected a new magnetar with NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Telescope. This is only the 31st identified magnetar, out of the somewhere around 3,000 acknowledged neutron stars.

Right after comply with-up observations, scientists established that this object, dubbed J1818.-1607, was unique for other reasons. Initially, it may possibly be the youngest recognized magnetar, with an age believed to be about 500 decades outdated. This is dependent on how rapidly the rotation level is slowing and the assumption that it was born spinning a great deal speedier. Next, it also spins speedier than any earlier found magnetar, rotating when all-around every 1.4 seconds.

Chandra’s observations of J1818.-1607 attained fewer than a thirty day period immediately after the discovery with Swift gave astronomers the very first higher-resolution perspective of this object in X-rays. The Chandra information uncovered a level supply wherever the magnetar was positioned, which is surrounded by diffuse X-ray emission, possible prompted by X-rays reflecting off dust located in its vicinity. (Some of this diffuse X-ray emission may also be from winds blowing absent from the neutron star.)

Harsha Blumer of West Virginia University and Samar Safi-Harb of the College of Manitoba in Canada just lately released benefits from the Chandra observations of J1818.-1607 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

This composite image is made up of a wide field of see in the infrared from two NASA missions, the Spitzer House Telescope and the Extensive-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (Clever), taken just before the magnetar’s discovery. X-rays from Chandra clearly show the magnetar in purple. The magnetar is situated near to the plane of the Milky Way galaxy at a length of about 21,000 gentle-decades from Earth.

Other astronomers have also noticed J1818.-1607 with radio telescopes, these kinds of as the NSF’s Karl Jansky Pretty Massive Array (VLA), and identified that it provides off radio waves. This implies that it also has homes similar to that of a common “rotation-run pulsar,” a type of neutron star that gives off beams of radiation that are detected as repeating pulses of emission as it rotates and slows down. Only 5 magnetars which includes this a person have been recorded to also act like pulsars, constituting significantly less than .2% of the recognised neutron star population.

The Chandra observations might also offer help for this normal notion. Safi-Harb and Blumer studied how proficiently J1818.-1607 is changing power from its decreasing level of spin into X-rays. They concluded this performance is decrease than that generally uncovered for magnetars, and probable in just the selection found for other rotation-run pulsars.

The explosion that created a magnetar of this age would be anticipated to have remaining driving a detectable debris subject. To lookup for this supernova remnant, Safi-Harb and Blumer appeared at the X-rays from Chandra, infrared knowledge from Spitzer, and the radio information from the VLA. Based mostly on the Spitzer and VLA facts they discovered achievable proof for a remnant, but at a fairly huge distance away from the magnetar. In order to cover this distance the magnetar would need to have to have traveled at speeds far exceeding those people of the speediest acknowledged neutron stars, even assuming it is much older than anticipated, which would make it possible for more vacation time.

NASA’s Marshall Room Flight Heart manages the Chandra plan. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Heart controls science from Cambridge Massachusetts and flight functions from Burlington, Massachusetts.

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