Astronomers at the University of Swinburne, Australia, have detected that unique signals emitted by a neutron star are the source of strong magnetic radiation.
The neutron star behavior has been observed by astronomers since its discovery in March 2020 following a bright x-ray burst. At the time, the star was named magnetar swift J1818.0-1607.
The new findings suggest that the magnetic fields of these magnetars are more complex than previously estimated. As astronomers explain, it has been observed that this star continued to send out unusual radio signals after its discovery that did not resemble any type of explosion that other magnetars usually emit.
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The study noted that J1818.0-1607 was brighter at low frequencies than at high frequencies, and in trying to understand why, astronomers found even weirder behavior. Although the star was already emitting unusual pulses since its discovery, after a few months it flickered intensely and faded after a while.
“This bizarre behaviour has never been seen before in any other radio-loud magnetar. It appears to have only been a short-lived phenomenon as by our next observation it had settled permanently into this new magnetar-like state”explains the lead author of the study from Swinburne University, Marcus Lower.
Other observations suggest that this behavior may be due to the geometry of the star, as its magnetic field appears to be organized in a different way and instead of north and south poles on each side of the star, it seems that these they are connected by a field in a circular shape. They are closer to each other and are linked like a horseshoe magnet.
“From our observations, we found that the magnetic axis of J1818 isn’t aligned with its rotation axis. Instead, the radio-emitting magnetic pole appears to be in its southern hemisphere, located just below the equator. Most other magnetars have magnetic fields that are aligned with their spin axes or are a little ambiguous. This is the first time we have definitively seen a magnetar with a misaligned magnetic pole.”Lower said.
According to astronomers, it is the first time they have seen a magnetar with a misaligned magnetic pole and they will continue to observe the star in order to collect more data to study the details of its magnetic field that hides this neutron star considered one of the most powerful magnets. of the universe.