Mix of X-ray and radio signals observed for the first time
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space
- NASA has observed a mix of X-ray and radio signals never observed before in the Milky Way in April 2020.
- Significantly, the flare-up it observed included the first fast radio burst (FRB) seen within the galaxy.
- The source of the FRB detected is a very powerful magnetic neutron star, referred to as a magnetar, called SGR 1935+2154 or SGR 1935.
- It is located in the constellation Vulpecula.
- It is estimated to be between 14,000-41,000 light-years away.
Important value additions
- As per NASA, a magnetar is a neutron star, the crushed, city-size remains of a star many times more massive than our Sun.
- The magnetic field of such a star is very powerful, which can be over 10 trillion times stronger than a refrigerator magnet and up to a thousand times stronger than a typical neutron star’s.
- Neutron stars are formed when the core of a massive star undergoes gravitational collapse when it reaches the end of its life.
Do you know?
- Essentially, FRBs are bright bursts of radio waves whose durations lie in the millisecond-scale, because of which it is difficult to detect them and determine their position in the sky.
- Radio waves can be produced by astronomical objects with changing magnetic fields