The youngest pulsar in space: it belongs to a rare type of magnetars

Astronomers find the youngest pulsar magnetar in space

The researchers at the XMM-Newton Space Observatory discovered the youngest pulsar ever known. It is the remnant of a once giant star that is also a magnetar. It possesses a unique magnetic field that is 70 quadralillion times more powerful than the Earth's magnetic field. Pulsars are recognized as the most exotic objects in the Universe. They form after massive stars end their life.

After powerful supernova explosions, extremely hot, dense stellar remnants with a magnetic field of enormous strength are formed. At some point, pulsars undergo periods of increased activity, and then they emit a huge amount of energy radiation, the time scale of which lasts from a millisecond to several years.

Minor flares predict stronger ones, when the X-ray radiation of the process can become thousands of times more intense. The scientists, using the latest technical equipment, were able to record such an outbreak. It came from a distant young pulsar.

It was named Swift J1818.0-1607. It was first spotted by the NASA observatory in March this year. In the process of studying the outbreak, the researchers made another surprising discovery. The pulsar turned out to be not only the youngest of the three thousand known located in the Milky Way galaxy.

But it also belongs to a rare type of magnetars. These are the space objects with the most powerful magnetic fields in the Universe. A researcher Paolo Esposito says that Swift J1818.0-1607 is about 15,000 light-years from the Earth, within the Milky Way. The astronomers are very interested in observing a young pulsar, especially after it was recently formed in the Universe.

It could have been formed by a supernova explosion that supposedly happened about 240 years ago. In addition, it is recognized as the fastest of all known rotating objects in outer space. Its rotation speed is 1.36 seconds, and that is despite the fact that the stellar remnant, which is about 25 kilometers in size, contains the mass of two Suns. This pulsar is one of the few that exhibits pulsed radiation in radio waves.