Astronomers discovered a magnetar with an extremely long pulsation period

Astronomers have discovered a neutron star with a pulsation period of 76 seconds, which is the maximum value. In addition, this magnetar has six other types of pulsations. Scientists are sure that this is only the first of a new class of objects.

Neutron star with maximum pulsation period

A group of scientists from the University of Sydney has discovered an unusual neutron star PSR J0901-4046, whose pulsation period is as much as 76 seconds. To do this, they used an array of MeerKAT radio telescopes. The new object belongs to the magnetar class.

Neutron stars are supernova remnants. They are divided into two large classes. The first consists of pulsars — stars with a powerful magnetic field, whose rotation period is measured in fractions of a second and produces characteristic radio pulses. They are relatively common, so much attention is paid to those of them that spin the fastest.

The second class is called magnetars. These neutron stars do not rotate as fast, but they produce the most powerful magnetic fields in the Universe. They are much less common, so they are less studied. Until now, no one has thought about how slowly they can rotate and what it means.

Magnetar of a new class

No one expected to find a magnetar whose radio pulse emission period is more than a minute. One of the reasons is the difficulty of detecting its signals for a long time. A neutron star emits them with a narrow beam, and it follows that it crossed with the Earth several times.

In the case of PSR J0901-4046, scientists were able to observe the pulses of the star for a short period. It turned out that in total this magnetar has seven different types of pulsation, some of which are short and some are quite long.

Now they suspect that there are many more such objects in space. There may be several types of them. Their properties have yet to be studied. It is quite possible that they are responsible for most of the “mysterious signals“, which radio telescopes catch from time to time from the depths of space.

According to

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