The article was used in Space.com's expert voices: op-ed and insights.
The lecturer is from the University ofSydney.
Our understanding of star systems is being changed by the discovery of a neutron star.
The discovery was made when I and my colleagues used a radio telescope in South Africa. The flash that we saw lasted about 300 milliseconds.
The flash was similar to a radio- emitting star. This was not what we'd seen before.
We searched through old data in hopes of finding a similar pulse. The real-time pulse detection system missed more such pulse which had previously been missed
A quick analysis of the times of arrival of the pulse showed them to be repeating about 76 seconds.
Some of the characteristics of a "pulsar" were shown by our observation. The radio waves from the poles of a collapsing giant star are called pulkas. As they are rotating, the radio waves can be measured from Earth.
We might have found a completely new class of radio-emitting object since the longest known rotation period for a pulsar before this was 23.5 seconds. The findings are in Nature Astronomy.
We were able to find the object's position with excellent accuracy thanks to the data we were able to get from the two projects. We carried our more sensitive follow up observations after this.
The object, named PSR J0941-4046, is a radio-emitting star which rotates very slowly. Predicting the arrival time of each pulse to a 100 millionth of a second is possible because of the consistency of the pulse rates.
There is an unexpected pulse rate and it is located in the graveyard. The region of space where we don't expect to find radio emissions is believed to be the end of the life cycle of the neutron stars. We don't understand how neutron stars are born.
It appears to produce at least seven distinctly different pulse shapes, which is interesting as most neutron stars don't. The object's pulse shape and intensity are likely related to the unknown emission mechanism.
The "quasi-periodic" structure of one type of pulse suggests that something is driving the radio emission. We may be able to learn a lot about the inner workings of PSR J0941-546.
Fast radio burst are short radio bursts of unknown origin. It's not known if PSR J0941-4046 emits the kind of energy seen in fast radio bursts. It's possible that it is an "ultra-long period magnetar."
Only a few magnetars emit radio waves in the radio part of the spectrum. An ultra-long period magnetar is thought to be a source of fast radio bursts.
Since radio surveys don't usually look for periods this long, we don't know how long PSR J0941-5046 has been active.
We don't know how many of these are in the universe. It's only visible to us for a fraction of a second because we can only detect radio emissions for a small portion of its rotation period. We were able to spot it in the beginning.
It's difficult to detect similar sources and there may be a larger undetected population waiting to be found. There is a chance of a new class of radio Transient, the ultra-long period neutron star. Future searches for similar objects will help us understand the population of neutron stars.
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