Astronomers Discover the 1st 'Wind Nebula' Around a Magnetar -

Astronomers Discover the 1st 'Wind Nebula' Around a Magnetar

Astronomers have exposed a vast cloud of high-energy particle called a wind nebula around a rare ultra-magnetic neutron star, or magnetar, for the 1st time. The discover offers a unique window into the properties, surroundings and outburst record of magnetars, which are the strongest magnets in the universe.
A neutron star is the compressed core of a huge star that ran out of fuel, collapsed under its own weight, and explode as a supernova. Each one compresses the equal mass of half a million Earths into a ball just 12 miles (20 kilometers) across, or concerning the length of New York's Manhattan Island. Neutron stars are most commonly found as pulsars, which produce radio, visible light, X-rays and gamma rays at various locations in their nearby magnetic fields. When a pulsar spins these region in our direction, astronomers notice pulses of emission, hence the name.
Typical pulsar magnetic field can be 100 billion to 10 trillion periods stronger than Earth's. Magnetar fields get to strengths a thousand times stronger still, and scientists don't recognize the particulars of how they are created. Of about 2,600 neutron stars recognized, to date only 29 are classified as magnetars.
The latest found nebula surrounds a magnetar recognized as Swift J1834.9-0846—J1834.9 for short—which was exposed by NASA's Swift satellite on Aug. 7, 2011, throughout a brief X-ray outburst. Astronomers believe the object is associated with the W41 supernova remainder, located about 13,000 light-years absent in the constellation Scutum on the way to the central part of our galaxy.
Right currently, we don't know how J1834.9 developed and continues to preserve a wind nebula, which until now was a arrangement only seen about young pulsars," said lead researcher George Younes, a postdoctoral pollster at George Washington University in Washington. "If the procedure here is similar, then about 10 percent of the magnetar's rotating energy loss is powering the nebula's glow, which would be the uppermost efficiency still measured in such a system."
A month after the Swift finding, a team led by Younes took one more look at J1834.9 using the European Space Agency's (ESA) XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, which revealed an strange lopsided glow about 15 light-years across centered on the magnetar. New XMM-Newton comments in March and October 2014, coupled with archival data from XMM-Newton and Swift, verify this extended glow as the 1st wind nebula ever recognized around a magnetar. A paper telling the analysis will be published by The Astrophysical Journal.
"For me the majority interesting question is, why is this only magnetar with a nebula? Once we recognize the answer, we strength be able to understand what makes a magnetar and what make an normal pulsar," said co-author Chryssa Kouveliotou, a lecturer in the Department of Physics at George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts & Sciences.
Watch Astronomers Discover the 1st 'Wind Nebula' Around a Magnetar
"The nebula approximately J1834.9 stores the magnetar's energetic outflows over its whole lively history, starting a lot of thousands of years ago," said team member Jonathan Granot, an connect professor in the section of Natural Sciences at the Open University in Ra'anana, Israel. "It represents a unique chance to study the magnetar's historical activity, cavity a whole new playground for theorists like me."
ESA's XMM-Newton settlement was launch on Dec. 10, 1999, from Kourou, French Guiana, and continues to create observations. NASA funded elements of the XMM-Newton tool package and provide the NASA Guest Observer Facility at Goddard, which chains use of the observatory by U.S. astronomers.

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