Mix of X-ray and radio signals observed for the first time

  • IASbaba
  • November 7, 2020
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Mix of X-ray and radio signals observed for the first time

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space

In news

  • 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.

Key takeaways 

  • 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

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