A star in profound space from a neutron star “graveyard” radiates a strange pulse that is captivating scientists who didn’t foresee any radio emissions from that area.
Approximately 1,300 light-years away from Earth, in the Vela-X 1 region of the Milky Way, PSR J0941-4046 radiated a pulse that lingered for about 300 milliseconds and duplicated every 76 seconds. But most neutron star vibrations cycle through every few seconds or less.
“This wasn’t like anything we’d seen before,” University of Sydney lecturer Manisha Caleb asserted in the New York Post report. “We might have found a completely new class of radio-emitting object,” she added.
“Our observation showed PSR J0941-4046 had some of the characteristics of a ‘pulsar’ or even a ‘magnetar,’” Caleb jotted down at The Conversation. “Pulsars are the extremely dense remnants of collapsed giant stars which usually emit radio waves from their poles. As they rotate, the radio pulses can be measured from Earth, a bit like how you’d see a lighthouse periodically flash in the distance.”
She admitted that “It’s pretty lucky we were able to spot it in the first place,” she added, “Detecting similar sources is challenging, which implies there may be a larger undetected population waiting to be discovered. Our finding also adds to the possibility of a new class of radio transient: the ultra-long period neutron star.”
Scientists have inferred that erupting black holes could have transmitted such bursts, although they also said it is possible that they emerged from advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.