Des chercheurs du Centre international de recherche en radioastronomie (Icrar, Australie) ont identifié une source radio transitoire étonnante — symbolisé sur cette image par une fausse étoile. Ici, la Voie lactée vue par le Murchison Widefield Array (MWA, Australie) : les fréquences les plus basses sont en rouge, les moyennes sont en vert et les plus élevées en bleu. © Natasha Hurley Walker, ICRAR, Université Curtin

“There is nothing known in Heaven that does that!” An extraordinary object has been discovered in the Milky Way

The universe will certainly not cease to surprise us. Regularly, he reveals new things to us. unexpected. a surprise. confusing. And today again, a mysterious being illuminates the sky with radio waves like no other.

in a’being, there is what we see. But there are also many things that we do not see. The things that light up the sky wavelengths which are out ghost who looks. From Researchers from the International Center for Research in Radio Astronomy (Icrar, Australia) I discovered a new one. wave source radio As never seen before.

“It’s almost scarycomments by Natasha Hurley Walker, Researcher at Curtin University (Australia) in A Press release from Icrar. Because there is nothing known in heaven that does that.” Nothing known releases muchradio waves Regularly every 20 minutes. Extremely bright source at only 4000 light years in Earth.

This source, the researchers expelled thanks to the wide field “Vision” the Murchison Widefield Matrix (MWA, Australia) and its severe sensitivity. combination allowed “Scan the whole sky and discover the unexpected”. But make no mistake about it. the Astronomy scientists They are used to observe things that they call transient. Things that look like they are flashing in the sky.

This animation shows the radio emission profile recorded by the researchers. © Natasha Hurley Walker, Repeat, Curtin University, Glim Team

Could it be magnetic too long?

What makes this new element really special is that it lights up for one minute three times an hour. Other known transients could emit for a few days – that’s the case for supernovae – or for a few milliseconds or maybe a few seconds – when it comes to pulsars.

Astronomers also argue that the object is incredibly bright – in the field of radio waves, of course – and yet it is smaller than our sun. And it emits highly polarized radio waves. Which suggests not only that it is accompanied by magnetic field Especially powerful, but also capable of transforming this energy The magnetic field in radio waves is way more efficient than anything else we know.

This object can correspond to a kind of white dwarf — a star Extremely dense, sun-like star at the end of life – strange. Or even a class of things that are still completely unknown. But all of these characteristics lead researchers to think instead that it could be The first magnetic star — a neutron starthe case of de lcollapse For a massive star at the end of its life, surrounded by an intense magnetic field – a very long time that was never observed. The topic has already been imagined by theorists. But no one seemed to expect him to be that good. It remains to be seen whether astronomers will be able to find these other objects in the MWA archive or if it is an exceptional object.

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