A Hidden Population of Exotic Neutron Stars

A magnetar called SGR 0418+5729 (SGR 0418 for short) has been shown to have the lowest surface magnetic field ever found for this type of neutron star.

This graphic shows an exotic object in our galaxy called SGR 0418+5729 (SGR 0418 for short). As described in our press release, SGR 0418 is a magnetar, a type of neutron star that has a relatively slow spin rate and generates occasional large blasts of X-rays.

The only plausible source for the energy emitted in these outbursts is the magnetic energy stored in the star. Most magnetars have extremely high magnetic fields on their surface that are ten to a thousand times stronger than for the average neutron star. New data shows that SGR 0418 doesn’t fit that pattern. It has a surface magnetic field similar to that of mainstream neutron stars.

In the image above, data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows SGR 0418 as a pink source in the middle. Optical data from the William Herschel telescope in La Palma and infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope are shown in red, green and blue.

Below,  an artist’s impression showing a close-up view of SGR 0418. This illustration highlights the weak surface magnetic field of the magnetar, and the relatively strong, wound-up magnetic field lurking in the hotter interior of the star. The X-ray emission seen with Chandra comes from a small hot spot, not shown in the illustration. At the end of the outburst this spot has a radius of only about 160 meters, compared with a radius for the whole star of about 12 km.

Full Article

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CSIC-IEEC/N.Rea et al; Optical: Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, La Palma/WHT; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Posted 1 year ago with 206 notes
Tagged:Astronomysciencemagnetarchandra x-ray observatoryNASAspacestars

  1. multiverseofawesomeness reblogged this from visual1000
  2. pinkiepieaddict reblogged this from starsaremymuse
  3. anengineersaspect reblogged this from spaceplasma
  4. grl-gone-wilde reblogged this from bookoisseur
  5. thelittlearchangelthatcould reblogged this from distant-traveller
  6. ohh-fiddlesticks reblogged this from haymtchabernthy
  7. dekodur reblogged this from haymtchabernthy
  8. serialfrost reblogged this from katieofasgard
  9. katieofasgard reblogged this from haymtchabernthy
  10. haymtchabernthy reblogged this from distant-traveller
  11. attackonganon413 reblogged this from distant-traveller
  12. spherical-harmonics reblogged this from spaceplasma
  13. tiny-corner-of-the-universe reblogged this from starsaremymuse
  14. starsaremymuse reblogged this from thinkcosmos
  15. coldsmog reblogged this from astronemma
  16. theworldisconfused reblogged this from imagineatoms
  17. doppelchainz reblogged this from spaceplasma
  18. vanderleiaborgeslopes reblogged this from spaceplasma
  19. achangeddestiny reblogged this from spaceplasma
  20. the-neighbour-that-died reblogged this from astro-stoner
  21. astro-stoner reblogged this from astronemma
  22. visual1000 reblogged this from spaceplasma
  23. deep-space reblogged this from spaceplasma
  24. classicallyforbiddenregions reblogged this from thinkcosmos
  25. infernal-feline reblogged this from thinkcosmos
  26. thinkcosmos reblogged this from spaceplasma
  27. achaoticmasterpiece reblogged this from ne0ndreams
  28. astronomyfoeva reblogged this from ne0ndreams