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'Like Nothing We Know': Discovery of a Very Slowly Spinning Neutron Star

‘Like Nothing We Know’: Discovery of a Very Slowly Spinning Neutron Star

A research team in England has discovered a “strange” neutron star that takes 76 seconds to rotate on its axis. This is very slow and, among other things, tripled the previous record holder. In fact, orbs only need milliseconds, which is the fastest for only a few milliseconds. On the other hand, PSR J0901-4046 behaves quite differently and may belong to a class of neutron stars that has only been described theoretically – “long-period neutron stars”. There is also evidence that such things are not at all as rare as they might seem – and this will have implications for theories of neutron star formation and age in general.

Neutron stars are the extremely dense remnants of stars left after a supernova. Like a cosmic beacon, it can emit extremely powerful radio waves in narrow directions, Explains the team surrounding Manisha Kaleb of the University of Manchester. We currently know about 3,000 in our galaxy, none of them equal to what was just discovered. The signals showed the properties of so-called pulsars, magnetospheres, and even mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) – extremely short but extremely violent bursts of radiation of unknown origin. The properties of the measured radio waves also indicate that it is a particularly large coincidence that they cross the Earth directly. So there could be a lot we can’t figure out.

“The radio emission from the neutron star is unlike anything we’ve seen before,” says astronomer Ben Stubbers, who was involved in the study. Because it rotates so slowly, they can be seen for 300 milliseconds at a time, much longer than other neutron stars. In addition, the signals were pulsing in seven different ways, many of which were highly cyclic. This may be due to seismic vibrations within the star. The team believes that it may even be possible to gain important insights into the causes of these drives. They have their work Published in Nature Astronomy.

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