Scientists discovered an unusual neutron star surrounded by a mass of high-energy particles. Until now, nebulas were thought to have been created by the shell of the former supernova. As time passed by, the shell disintegrated and released the captive particles.
However, researchers discovered a new space object that does not completely respect the provisions of early theories.
This particular type of neutron star was named Swift J1834.9-0846 and it is believed to have emerged from a supernova placed 13,000 light-years away from our galaxy.
NASA’s initial observations have been confirmed by Newton European Space Agency observatory. Now, researchers are completely amazed by how the neutron star maintained a wind nebula, as until now the structure was found only in young pulsars.
If the process should be similar with the one in pulsars, a magnetar should use 10 percent of its energy loss to sustain the glow of the nebula.
The situation is highly intriguing, as the particle fluxes need to be abundant and also closely connected to the magnetar.
Pulsars are neutron stars that have a rotation movement and which were created by a collapsed massive star that exploded as a supernova.
One neutron star has the equivalent mass of millions of Earths, all compressed into a ball of 12 miles in diameter. Pulsars create magnetic fields that are trillion times stronger than those of our planet.
The pulsar’s rotation creates waves of radiations that, when directed towards Earth, can be seen even with a regular telescope.
On the other hand, magnetars are able to generate only intermittent accelerated particles. Only 26 magnetars have been discovered so far. The incredible small number makes scientists have little to no information on how the magnetic fields are created.
The wind nebula is supposed to have been formed by the interaction between the magnetic field and the pulsar’s rotation, which may have imposed very high accelerations to electrons and other particles.
Scientists also take into consideration the possibility that the magnetar’s nebula may have been created by the shell of the supernova, which could have kept the remnants close to the former core. Theis hypothesis further explains that as time passes by, the old structure loses its power and the particles are released again into the void.
Researchers are keen on finding the reason for which the magnetar is so different from the other neutron stars. They hope that the new data will support their quest in exploring the creation of magnetars.
Image Source: Flickr
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