Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery that could revolutionize their understanding of extreme celestial bodies in the universe.
Sighting of a Spinning Celestial Object
In March 2018, a spinning celestial object was spotted by Curtin University doctoral student Tyrone O’Doherty. This unknown object emitted powerful bursts of energy and released radiation at regular intervals.
Brightest Source of Radio Waves
During these moments, the celestial object became the brightest source of radio waves visible from Earth through radio telescopes.
Is it a Remnant of a Collapsed Star?
Researchers initially hypothesized that the phenomenon might be a remnant of a collapsed star, such as a dense neutron star or a dead white dwarf star, with a strong magnetic field. However, they were unsure of its true nature.
Search for Similar Objects
After releasing a study describing the initial observation, researchers started searching for similar celestial objects to determine if it was an isolated event or part of a larger phenomenon.
Discovery of GPM J1839−10
The team observed the sky using the Murchison Widefield Array, a radio telescope, and discovered an object 15,000 light-years from Earth in the Scutum constellation. This object, named GPM J1839−10, released radio waves every 22 minutes for up to five minutes.
Astronomers believe that GPM J1839−10 could be a magnetar, a rare type of star with extremely strong magnetic fields that releases powerful bursts of energy. However, its long emission duration defies the characteristics of known magnetars.
Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe
This discovery challenges scientists’ current understanding of neutron stars and magnetars, which are considered to be some of the most exotic and extreme objects in the universe.
Further Observations and Implications
Additional ground and space-based telescopes have been used to observe GPM J1839−10 and gather more data about its characteristics. This discovery not only raises questions about the formation and evolution of magnetars but also provides potential connections to other cosmic phenomena, like fast radio bursts.
The research team plans to further observe GPM J1839−10 and continue the search for similar objects to gain more insights into their nature and properties.