Science

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is gathering data on a magnetic star discovered in 2020

In 2020, astronomers discover a new member of a strange family of objects known as magnetars. Recently, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory made observations supporting the idea that the magnetic star discovered last year is also a pulsar. A pulsar emits regular light pulses.

Magnetism is a kind of Neutron stars Which is incredibly dense and consists mostly of a tightly packed neutron. A magnetic star is formed from the collapsing core of a massive star during a supernova explosion. A magnetic star differs from other neutron stars in that they also have the strongest known magnetic fields in the universe. NASA notes that the strength of Earth’s magnetic field is about 100 gauss. On the other hand, a magnetic star has a magnetic field of about one million billion gauss.

To add more perspective, NASA says that if a magnetic star were located about 40,000 miles from Earth, it would wipe out data from all credit cards on the planet. The magnet in question is called J1818.0-1607. It was discovered on March 12, 2020. It is the 31st known star out of nearly 3,000 known neutron stars. NASA has found some interesting details about the magnetic star, including that it may be the smallest magnetic star known and is estimated to be around 500 years old.

His age depends on how quickly his rate of rotation slows, and assuming he was born spinning more quickly. It also spins faster than any previously discovered magnetic star, with a spin every 1.4 seconds. Chandra made observations for J1818.0-1607 less than a month after his discovery with his Swift tool, providing a high-resolution view of the magnet in X-rays.

Chandra’s observations revealed a point source where the magnet star is located, which is surrounded by a diffuse emission of X-rays presumably from X-rays reflected off dust in its vicinity. Other astronomers have used radio telescopes to look at the magnetic star and determined that it also emits radio waves. The radiation of radio waves indicates that it has properties similar to those of a typical spinning pulsar.

Only five magnetic stars have been recorded, including this one, which also functions like pulsars. Chandra’s observations support this idea and conclude that the efficiency of a magnet at converting energy from its low rate of rotation to X-rays is lower than that normally found in magnetars and likely within the range found in other spinning pulsars.

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