UM As we speak | Astronomers catch wind of a pulsar powered by magnetar explosions

August 6, 2021 –

Utilizing NASA’s Chandra X-ray Telescope, a workforce of worldwide researchers, together with a UM astrophysicist and an alumna, have discovered and imaged the primary wind nebula round a radio pulsar, considered impacted by a magnetar explosion. is prone to.

“That is exceptional as a result of we do not know a lot concerning the Magnetar Wind Nebula and this uncommon object is presenting us with a laboratory in area in order that we will research the impact of magnets on our surroundings. Wind nebulae might be pushed by each rotation and magnetism that quickly follows a magneto-like explosion,” says UM astrophysicist Dr. Samar Safi-Harb.

Radio Pulsar J1119-6127

Neutron stars are these which are left behind after a supernova of an enormous star explodes. After they spin quickly and emit beams of radiation into area like an interstellar lighthouse, they’re often called pulsars. Some pulsars generate an outflow wind of charged particles touring at almost the pace of sunshine, leading to a pulsar wind nebula round them. Magnetars are a subclass of neutron stars with the very best magnetic fields ever recognized within the universe. They often produce bursts of vitality in a second that exceed these of our personal Solar within the tons of of 1000’s of years.

The radio pulsar J1119-6127 (the numbers correspond to coordinates within the sky) was first detected in X-rays in 2003 by Safi-Harab and his workforce with the Chandra satellite tv for pc. He additionally found a compact pulsar wind nebula across the pulsar. When J1119-6127 was noticed once more in July 2016, it confirmed a magnetar-like explosion and appeared brighter. Nevertheless, latest knowledge obtained in 2019 sees pulsars going again to their silent part.

“The attention-grabbing factor about this supply is that its nebula reveals proof of particle injection from a magnetar explosion in lunar knowledge taken three years later,” stated UM alumna and West Virginia College postdoctoral researcher Dr. Harsha Bloomer says.

Of the three,000 recognized neutron stars, solely 33 have been categorized as magnetars to date. Magnetars might not all the time produce a gentle pulsar wind like pulsars, however they will generate winds of fast-moving particles throughout an explosion. Nevertheless, the affect of such explosions on their atmosphere is poorly understood as a result of small variety of magnetar sources.

“It is a small pattern, however finding out the post-explosion evolution of such sources helps us to research the transition phases between pulsars and magnetars and to know how the Magnetar Wind Nebula works or how they Why aren’t all magnetars discovered round them,” says College of West Virginia astrophysicist and co-author Dr. Maura McLaughlin.

A paper describing these outcomes is printed on-line and can seem quickly in Astrophysical Journal.

Analysis on the College of Manitoba is supported partially by funding from the Authorities of Canada Analysis Help Fund.

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