Science searches for answers to a strange signal from space

Science searches for answers to a strange signal from space

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Recently, astronomers detected an unusual signal coming from the neutron star ASKAP J1935+2148. milky wayAbout 15,820 light years Tierra.

The signals, received every 54 minutes, have a peculiar pattern of strong pulses, weak pulses and periods of silence. This behavior, according to astrophysics Manisha Caleb and his team University of SydneyChallenging current models of neutron star evolution.

A neutron star is the ultradense remnant of a massive star that exploded as a supernova.

These stars can be pulsars, magnetars, or simply inactive.

Pulsars emit radio beams as they spin, and magnets have very powerful magnetic fields that can cause explosions. Neutron stars generally behave in predictable ways, but ASKAP J1935+2148 is a notable exception.

ASKAP J1935+2148 was discovered by chance during other observations and studied extensively by the ASKAP and MeerKAT radio telescopes in South Africa.

The star was observed to have a regular pulsar cycle of 53.8 minutes. However, the pulses vary in intensity, alternating between very bright and completely absent, then reappearing in a dim form.

This anomalous behavior suggests that ASKAP J1935+2148 may belong to a new class of magnetars or may be in a transition state between different types of neutron stars. Other similar objects, such as GLEAM-X and GPM J1839-10, show repeated signals and different behavior, indicating that they may be related to ASKAP J1935+2148.

Caleb and his team suggest that ASKAP J1935+2148 is part of an older population of magnetars with long spin periods and low X-ray luminosities, but still capable of producing radio emission. Studying these objects can provide important information to better understand the evolution of neutron stars and their different stages.

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