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The fastest spin, probably the youngest known electromagnet



Impressions of Electromagnetics

Artist’s depiction of magnets. Credit: ESO/L.sidewalk

  • Astronomers have recently discovered that it rotates the fastest and may be the youngest known magnetar.
  • This object called J1818.0-1607 is located about 21,000 light-years from the earth Galaxy galaxy.
  • Magnetars are a special kind of neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields.
  • Researchers used Chandra and other telescopes to understand the anomalous properties of the object.
J1818

The image contains an abnormal magnetar, a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field. Astronomers have found evidence that the object may be the youngest known magnetar (about 500 years old in the Earth’s time frame). It is also the fastest rotation speed found so far (about 1.4 rotations per second). This image shows the magneton in the X-ray X-ray from Chandra (purple) in the center of the image, combined with Spitzer and WISE infrared data showing a larger field of view. When a huge star runs out of nuclear fuel and its core collapses, a magnetosphere is formed. X-ray film: NASA/CXC/West Virginia University/H. Bloomer; Infrared (Spitzer and Wise): NASA / JPL-Caltech / Spitzer

In 2020, astronomers discovered a magnetar and added its new member to a unique family of strange objects.New observations from NASAThe Chandra X-ray Observatory also supports this idea, Pulsar, Which means it emits regular light pulses.

Magnet is a Neutron Star, This is an incredibly dense object, mainly composed of tightly packed neutrons formed by the core of massive stars collapsing during supernova explosions.

What distinguishes magnetars from other neutron stars is that they also have the strongest known magnetic field in the universe. For context, the strength of our planet’s magnetic field is about 1 Gauss, while the refrigerator magnet is about 100 Gauss. On the other hand, magnetars have a magnetic field of about 100 million gauss. If the magnetar is located one-sixth (about 40,000 miles) from the moon, it will erase all credit card data on the planet.

On March 12, 2020, astronomers discovered a new magnetar using NASA’s Neal Gellers Swift telescope. Of the approximately 3,000 known neutron stars, this is only the 31st known magnetar.

After follow-up observations, the researchers determined that the object named J1818.0-1607 was special for other reasons. First, it may be the youngest known magnetar, estimated to be about 500 years old. This is based on the assumption that the rotation speed slows down and the rotation speed is much faster. Secondly, it rotates faster than any previously discovered magnetar, rotating once every 1.4 seconds.

Chandra’s observations of J1818.0-1607 were obtained less than a month after Swift’s discovery, which provided astronomers with the first high-resolution X-ray of the object view. Chandra’s data revealed a point source located at the location of the magnet, surrounded by diffuse X-ray emission, which is most likely caused by X-rays reflecting off nearby dust. (This diffuse X-ray emission may also come from the wind blowing away from the neutron star.)

Harsha Blumer of West Virginia University and Samar Safi-Harb of University of Manitoba in Canada recently published Chandra observations of Jandra 8.01607. Astrophysical Journal Letter.

J1818 tags

Image of the same special magnet as above, but marked with J1818. X-ray film: NASA/CXC/West Virginia University/H. Bloomer; Infrared (Spitzer and Wise): NASA / JPL-Caltech / Spitzer

The composite image contains two NASA missions (the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)) wide field of view in the infrared, which was taken before the magnetar was discovered. Chandra’s X-ray shows the magnetosphere in purple. The magnetar is located near the plane of the Milky Way, about 21,000 light-years from the Earth.

Other astronomers have also observed J1818.0-1607 using radio telescopes such as NSF’s Karl Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and determined that it emits radio waves. This means that it also has similar characteristics to the typical “rotating dynamic pulsar”, which is a neutron star that emits radiation beams that are considered to be repetitively emitting pulses when rotating and decelerating. According to records, only five types of magnetars including this one also act as pulsars, accounting for less than 0.2% of the total number of known neutron stars.

J1818 closed

Turn off the special magnetar J1818.0-1607. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/West Virginia University/H. Bloomer; Infrared (Spitzer and Wise): NASA / JPL-CalTech / Spitzer

Chandra’s observations may also provide support for this general idea. Safi-Harb and Blumer studied how J1818.0-1607 effectively converts energy from a reduced spin rate to X-rays. They concluded that this efficiency is lower than the usual electromagnetic efficiency and may be in the range of other rotating pulsars.

It is expected that an electromagnetic explosion that can cause this age will leave a detectable debris field. To search for this supernova remnant, Safi Haber and Blumer looked at Chandra’s X-rays, Spitzer’s infrared data, and VUV radio data. According to data from Spitzer and VLA, they found evidence of possible remnants, but the distance from the magnetar body is greater. In order to cover this distance, even assuming it is much older than expected, the magnetar must travel at a speed far exceeding the speed of the fastest known neutron star, which will allow for a longer travel time.

Reference: Harsha Blumer and Samar Safi-Harb’s “Chandra Observation of the Newly Discovered Swift Swift J1818.0-1607”, November 26, 2020, Astrophysical Journal Letter.
DOI: 10.3847 / 2041-8213 / abc6a2
arXiv: 2011.00324

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Chandra X-ray Center of the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory controls science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and flight operations in Burlington, Massachusetts.




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