A group of researchers, using the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa, has identified a strange star in the Vela-X 1 region of the Milky Way, about 1,300 light-years from Earth.
The body emitted a flash, or “pulse,” that lasted 300 milliseconds, in a way that had not been observed before. It can resemble a pulsar or a magnetar. However, the longest known rotation period for a pulsar prior to this was 23.5 seconds. This continued 76.
Apparently, PSR J0941-4046 (the so-called) is a strange, radio-emitting galactic neutron star that rotates very slowly compared to other pulsars. It appears to produce at least seven different forms of pulsations, while most neutron stars do not show such diversity. Perhaps this diversity in the shape of the pulse, as well as in the intensity of the pulse, is related to the body’s unknown physical emission mechanism.
These quasi-periodic pulses bear some resemblance to coded “fast radio bursts,” which are very strong short radio bursts of unknown origin. However, it remains unclear whether PSR J0941-4046 emits the type of energies observed in fast radio bursts. If this object is indeed associated with this phenomenon, we may have discovered a “very long-range magnetar”.
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