Probable source of mysterious space signals found

11 months ago

Astronomers from Italy and Spain found that the SGR 1935 + 2154 magnetar, which is a special kind of neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field, was reactivated again by emitting X-rays and radio beams. By this, he recalled the mysterious fast radio bursts – a high-energy cosmic phenomenon that has not yet received an exhaustive explanation. An article reporting the awakening of an unusual object is published in the arXiv preprint repository.

Magnitar SGR 1935 + 2154, found in 2014, often exhibits explosive activity. The object rotates rapidly, making a revolution in 3.25 seconds, and the deceleration rate is 0.0413 nanoseconds per second. These values ​​indicate that the neutron star reaches the age of 3600 years, and the strength of the magnetic field at the poles is estimated at 440 trillion Gauss. New observations have shown that in 2020, the magnetar entered a new active phase.

Since reactivation, the object has produced many x-ray flashes, as well as two bright millisecond radio pulses resembling fast radio bursts (FRB), one of the probable sources of which are just magnars. Three days before reactivation, SGR 1935 + 2154 had an X-ray luminosity of four decillion (10 to the 33rd power) erg per second, but after this figure rose to 250 decillion, which is the most powerful flash detected to date.

The observation results showed that bright flashes in magnetars can be accompanied by radio emission streams. This can help explain the mechanisms of the appearance of FRB – mysterious radio pulses that last for several milliseconds and are accompanied by the release into space of a huge amount of energy – such as the sun emits for several tens of thousands of years.

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