A small dead star that shocked us earlier this year was not done with his shennigan.
The magnetar SGR 1935 + 2154, the first known rapid radio explosion from inside the Milky Way in April, ignited it once again, giving astronomers another chance to solve multiple large cosmic mysteries.
October 8, 2020, at CHIME / FRB Detecting collaboration SGR 1935 + 2154 Three milliseconds of radio exploded in three seconds. To follow on CHIME / FRB Detection, something else has been found from a fast radio telescope – a pulse radio emission consistent with the timing of the magnetic spin.
“Looking back at SGR 1935 + 2154 I am really excited and I am hopeful that we will study these explosions more carefully as well as help better understand the potential relationship between magnetic and rapid radio explosions,” said Deborah Good, a Canadian astronomer and University of British Columbia. CHIME / FRB, Told ScienceAlert.
These identities, published in The Astronom’s Telegram, are currently under analysis.
Prior to April of this year, rapid radio explosions (FRBs) were only detected from sources outside the galaxy, usually millions of light-years away. The first was discovered in 2007 and since then astronomers have been trying to figure out what caused them.
As the name implies, FRB is the eruption of extremely powerful radio waves detected in the sky, some emitting more energy than a few million suns. These end in the lowest milliseconds.
Since most rapid radio explosion sources were seen floating at once and no recurrence was detected, they are ultimately predictable. In addition, what we usually detect comes from so far away, our telescopes are unable to pick individual stars. Both of these features make it difficult to identify FRBs as the exact source galaxy, or a known cause.
However SGR 1935 + 2154 is about 30,000 light-years away. On April 26, 2020, it caused a powerful millisecond-time explosion, as the 2004 FRB was named to coincide with the Rapid Radio Burst Naming Conference.
Once the signal strength was corrected for distance, the FRB 200428 Extragalactic Fast Radio was not strong enough to explode – but what it had about it matched the profile.
“If the same signal comes from a nearby galaxy like a normal FRB galaxy, it looks like an FRB to us,” Caltech astronomer Srinivas Kulkarni told Science Alert in May.
We still don’t know much about the three new explosions. As scientists are still working on the data, there is a possibility that some of the initial decisions may change, Good told Science. However we can already say that they are both similar and similar to FRB 200428.
These are again somewhat less powerful but they are still incredibly powerful and all milliseconds long. “While they are less bright than they were detected earlier this year, they are still very bright explosions that we want to see if they were extroverted,” Good said.
“One of the most striking aspects of this detection is that all three of our explosions appear to have occurred within a rotation period. It was a bit unusual, and I think that’s something we’ll look at further. “
It may reveal something new and useful about magnetic behavior, because – let’s face it – they’re pretty weird.
Magnets – of which we have only been confirmed within 24 days – are a kind of neutron star; This is the root of a dead star collapsing so that it is not enough to turn into a black hole. Neutrons are small and dense, with a diameter of about 20 kilometers (12 miles) and a mass of about two suns. But magnets add something more to the mix: a strong magnetic field like a shock.
These jaw-dropping fields are about a quarter times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field and a thousand times stronger than ordinary neutron stars. And we still don’t fully understand how they got there.
We do know, however, that magnets go through periodic activity. Gravity tries to hold the star together – an internal force – a magnetic field, so strong that it pulls outwards, distorting the shape of the star. This leads to ongoing excitement which occasionally produces large amounts of Starkcakes and giant magnetic flames.
SGR 1935 + 2154 suggests a link between the magnetic system and at least some FRBs.
Clearly, astronomers have found the source of the first inter-galactic FRBT for intense interest. When CHIME / FRB Other astronomers wanted to keep an eye on the stars, according to a group led by Zhu Wei of China’s National Astronomical Observatories who had access to the world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope.
And they found something interesting, published in Astronomy’s telegram – vibrating radio emissions. These radio pulses were nowhere near as powerful as explosions, but they are extremely rare: if verified, the SGR 1935 + 2154 would be only the sixth magnet with vibrating radio emissions. And the duration of the vibration was 3.24781 seconds – almost exactly the star’s spin period.
This is intriguing, because so far, astronomers have struggled to find a link between magnetic and radio pulses. Another type of pulsar is the neutron star; They have more normal magnetic fields, but they vibrate in radio waves as they spin, and astronomers have long tried to determine how the two types are related.
Earlier this year, Australian astronomers identified a magnet that was behaving like a radio pulsar – proving a possible “missing link” between the two and that at least some magnets could have evolved into pulsars. SGR 1935 + 2154 could be another part of the puzzle.
“Based on these results and the increasing bursting activity, we speculate that the magnet may be in the process of becoming an active radio pulsar,” Weiwe’s team wrote.
Is it becoming an absolutely bloody interesting little star.