Chandra Observes Young, Fast Spinning Magnetar and Its Environment | Astronomy

This composite image of Swift J1818.0-1607 contains a wide field of view in the infrared from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, taken before the magnetar’s discovery. X-rays from Chandra show the magnetar in purple. Image credit:  NASA / CXC / University of West Virginia / H. Blumer / JPL / Caltech / Spitzer.

Astronomers utilizing NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have studied Swift J1818.0-1607, a brand new magnetar (a sort of neutron star with a particularly highly effective magnetic discipline) discovered by the Swift Burst Alert Telescope on board NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory on March 12, 2020, and the impact of magnetar-like outbursts on its surrounding.

This composite picture of Swift J1818.0-1607 comprises a large discipline of view within the infrared from NASA’s Spitzer House Telescope and Broad-Area Infrared Survey Explorer, taken earlier than the magnetar’s discovery. X-rays from Chandra present the magnetar in purple. Picture credit score: NASA / CXC / College of West Virginia / H. Blumer / JPL / Caltech / Spitzer.

Swift J1818.0-1607, which is situated about 21,000 light-years away within the constellation of Sagittarius, has a magnetic discipline as much as 1,000 occasions stronger than a typical neutron star.

At about 470 years outdated, the article is each the youngest neutron star and the youngest magnetar ever found.

It’s also one of many fastest-spinning such objects recognized, whirling round as soon as each 1.36 seconds — regardless of containing the mass of two photo voltaic plenty inside a stellar remnant measuring simply 25 km throughout.

Chandra’s observations of Swift J1818.0-1607 obtained lower than a month after the invention with Swift gave astronomers the primary high-resolution view of this object in X-rays.

The information revealed a degree supply the place the magnetar was situated, which is surrounded by diffuse X-ray emission, doubtless attributable to X-rays reflecting off mud situated in its neighborhood.

Radio observations by the 100-m Effelsberg radio telescope recognized Swift J1818.0-1607 because the fifth radio-loud magnetar.

This means that it additionally has properties just like that of a typical rotation-powered pulsar, a sort of neutron star that provides off beams of radiation which are detected as repeating pulses of emission because it rotates and slows down.

Solely 5 magnetars together with this one have been recorded to additionally act like pulsars, constituting lower than 0.2% of the recognized neutron star inhabitants.

In new analysis, Dr. Harsha Blumer of West Virginia College and Dr. Samar Safi-Harb from the College of Manitoba studied how effectively Swift J1818.0-1607 is changing vitality from its lowering price of spin into X-rays.

They concluded this effectivity is decrease than that sometimes discovered for magnetars, and certain throughout the vary discovered for different rotation-powered pulsars.

The explosion that created a magnetar of this age can be anticipated to have left behind a detectable particles discipline.

To seek for this supernova remnant, the astronomers checked out X-rays from Chandra, the infrared knowledge from NASA’s Spitzer House Telescope, and the radio knowledge from NSF’s Karl G. Jansky Very Massive Array (VLA).

Primarily based on the Spitzer and VLA knowledge they discovered attainable proof for a remnant, however at a comparatively massive distance away from the magnetar.

With a purpose to cowl this distance the magnetar would want to have traveled at speeds far exceeding these of the quickest recognized neutron stars, even assuming it’s a lot older than anticipated, which might enable extra journey time.

“The sensitivity and backbone provided by Chandra allowed us to review the just lately found magnetar Swift J1818.0-1607 and resolve compact faint emission surrounding it,” the researchers concluded.

“Our research factors to Swift J1818.0-1607 being a transient supply displaying properties intermediate between high-B pulsars and magnetars, and to the diffuse emission being dominated by a mud scattering halo.”

“Future deep Chandra observations of the supply in quiescence will affirm the character of this prolonged emission and place additional constraints on any underlying compact wind nebula powered by the rotational vitality lack of the pulsar.”

The findings have been printed within the Astrophysical Journal Letters.


Harsha Blumer & Samar Safi-Harb. 2020. Chandra Observations of the Newly Found Magnetar Swift J1818.0-1607. ApJL 904, L19; doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/abc6a2


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