Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Brightest pulsar spotted thanks to ‘sunglasses’

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
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[EN VIDÉO] Gamma ray bursts: Collisions of neutron stars light up the universe
Gamma ray bursts are the brightest events in the universe in the field of electromagnetic waves. We can observe one per day on average over the celestial vault and they occur in distant galaxies. There are two types, short and long. This video explains the nature of short bursts.

a pulsarIt’s a bit like a beacon that guides Astronomy scientists in the enormitybeing. a star Pulses emitting waves radio At such a regular rate that researchers believed for the first time…the signals sent from extraterrestrial civilizations. Astronomers know that now pulsar is only neutron starsThe rest of the incredibly dense massive stars are spinning very fast. In just one second. even less.

The first pulsar was observed in 1967 near Cambridge (UK). Since then, more than 3,000 other pulsars have been discovered. The most in our area galaxy. But about thirty isomorphs, in our nearest neighbour, the Large Magellanic Cloud. And today, thanks to a new technology Astronomy scientists Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Ciro just made an amazing discovery there. This bright spot that researchers have taken until then for a distant galaxy would in fact be just another pulsar in the heart of the Large Magellanic Cloud. And not just any pulsar. The one they named PSR J0523-7125 would be the brightest pulsar ever observed outside the world Milky Way. Perhaps even the brightest pulsar ever!

To understand how such an object could go under the radar so far, it is necessary to know that classically, to find pulsars, astronomers look for the characteristic recurring signals that such amazing objects leave in the data of radio telescopes. The method is effective. Most of the time. Because it tends to fail to detect pulsars that are out of the ordinary. Pulsars are too fast or too slow. but also those who to throb » dispersed.

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There are still plenty of pulsars to discover

To discover this type of pulsar, the researchers imagined they could rely on another property of pulsars. In fact, its rays can be very circularly polarized. Understand that the electric field of their light waves takes a circular motion as the waves travel through space. These signs are rare.

But specifically, theAustralian Square Kilometer Pathfinder Arraythe Australian Square Kilometer Radio Telescope Array (Askap), has types of sunglasses» Let him pick this up light polarized. And it was the student who finally discovered, in the data from the machine, a circularly polarized object, in a place where there is no known pulsar.

Notes area using other telescopesMade it possible to eliminate all assumptions. And the MeerKAT radio telescope – also equipped with the famous telescope ‘cups of the sun » – From the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory confirmed this. It is indeed a pulsar discovered by Askap. A pulsar ten times brighter than any other pulsar discovered so far outside Milky Wayabout 160,000light yearsfrom our land. maybe even a file Brighter never noticed.

Thanks to this new technology, astronomers now hope to discover other pulsars outside the galaxy. And why not, pulsars lie behind the Large Magellanic Cloud. Observations that will help them better understand the processes still hidden behind these extremes.

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