Scientists managed to detect a “never before seen” burst of radiation from a magnetar, a dead star with a very powerful magnetic field.
The Integral Space Telescope, operated by the European Space Agency, managed in collaboration with other telescopes to accurately trace the origin of a Rapid Radio Burst (FRB) detected in late April.
The investigation revealed that these FRBs, considered as one of the main unsolved mysteries of astronomy and whose true nature remains unknown, come from a magnetar, a highly magnetic dead star known as SGR 1935 + 2154 that lies at the center of the Milky Way ‘just’ 30,000 light-years away from our planet.
In addition to the high-energy X-ray burst, the magnetar also emitted radio waves, something that had never been seen before in this type of star. FRBs, first discovered in 2007, last for milliseconds and appear temporarily and randomly from space. They are extremely unpredictable, although some release more energy than 500 million soles.
“We have never before seen a burst of radio waves that resembled a fast radio burst of a magnetar,” said Sandro Mereghetti of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF-IASF) in Milan, Italy, lead author of the new study. , published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
“Fundamentally, the IBIS image generator at Integral allowed us accurately determine the origin of the outburst, exposing his association with the magnetar, “said co-author Volodymyr Savchenko of the Center for Comprehensive Science Data at the University of Geneva (Switzerland).
“This is the first observation connection between magnetars and fast radio bursts. It really is an important discovery and it helps to focus on the origin of these mysterious phenomena, “said Mereghetti.
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