A strange signal from deep space that intrigues astronomers

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A strange signal from deep space that intrigues astronomers

Scientists have found They believe the neutron star is spinning at an unprecedented speed, slower than any of the more than 3,000 radio-emitting neutron stars measured to date. This discovery challenges our current understanding of these cosmic objects. Reveals a cycle that takes 54 minutes to complete.

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Neutron stars, the super-dense remnants of a dead star, often spin at astonishing speeds, finishing spinning in seconds or even fractions of a second. However, this star, newly discovered by an international team of astronomers, defies this norm.

What is a neutron star?

At the end of their lives, massive stars use up all their fuel and explode in a spectacular supernova. What remains is a stellar remnant called a neutron star, made up of trillions of neutrons packed into a very dense ball, 1.4 times the mass of the Sun. It is only within a radius of 10 km.

Neutron stars have very strong magnetic fields and spin at incredible speeds, sometimes several times per second. This fast spin, along with their powerful magnetic fields, make them pulsars. They emit beams of electromagnetic radiation from their magnetic poles. When these beams pass Earth, they can be detected as regular pulses of radio waves, visible light, X-rays, or gamma rays, depending on the energy of the pulsar.

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Could it be something else?

An unexpected radio signal from a stellar object It traveled about 16,000 light years to reach Earth. The nature of the radio emission and the rate of change of rotation period suggest that it is a neutron star.

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Place ASKAP J1935+2148 The parameter space often used to characterize the various types of pulsars is consistent with other known long-period sources. It lies in the “death valley” of pulsars, where no detectable radio signals are expected, challenging accepted theories of radio emission by slowing rotation.

However, the researchers did not rule out the possibility that it was an isolated white dwarf with an unusually strong magnetic field. The absence of other nearby highly magnetic white dwarfs makes the neutron star interpretation more plausible.

Further investigation is required to confirm the nature of the material, But one scenario promises to provide valuable insights into the physics of these extreme objects.. The findings could cause scientists to rethink their decades-old understanding of neutron stars, or white dwarfs. How do they emit radio waves and what is their population in our Milky Way galaxy?

Radiotelescopio ASKAP

The discovery was made using Radiotelescopio ASKAP From CSIRO’s Wajari Yamaji region in Western Australia, it can observe large swathes of the sky at once, capturing things that researchers wouldn’t even look for.

The research team simultaneously tracked the gamma ray source and was looking for a fast radio burst when it spotted a slowly glowing object in the data.

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Manisha CalebLead author and member of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Sydney explained: “How this object shows three distinct emission levels, each with completely different properties. The MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa played a key role in this. If the difference between these levels does not come from the same point in the sky, these different We don’t rely on it being the only thing that generates signals.

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