Astronomers from Europe (ESA) and NASA have just discovered the youngest “Magnetar” to date by operating a set of space-based telescopes. A paper published Wednesday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters describes Swift J1818.0-1607, a 240-year-old “baby” death star, or how astronomers understand how the dense magnet formed and evolved.
Magnetic field imagination of the magnetic star (from: ESA)
NASA’s Neil Gehrel Swift Observatory first spotted it on March 12, and it was known to have exploded with powerful X-rays.
A rare neutron star with a very strong magnetic field (the collapsed nucleus of a giant star) that, when it collapses, squeezes large amounts of material into a very small space, triggering many strange physical phenomena.
Compared to a normal neutron star, its magnetic field may be three orders of magnitude (1000 times). In addition, the magnet is only 16,000 light-years from Earth in Sagittarius, where astronomers have found dozens of similar magnets.
Study co-author Nanda Rea, an astronomer at the Institute of Space Science in Barcelona, said they had never seen such a young magnet.
After the first discovery at the Swift Observatory, NASA conducted continuous observations of J1818.0-1607 through NuSTAR and the Sardinia radio telescope in Italy to reveal more features of the 240-year-old young magnet.
Astronomer Victoria Kaspi, of McGill University in Montreal, says the magnetic stars are so diverse, so they’re guessing that there are many types of magnets they haven’t seen before.