A new star – level 3

04-02-2022 15:00

Astronomers discovered what they think is an incredibly dense star, and it behaves unlike anything else ever seen.

A student first spotted the object in 2018 at The Murchison Widefield Array telescope in Western Australia. At that time, the object unleashed huge bursts of energy every 20 minutes.

Astronomers predicted that these kinds of objects existed, and they called them ultra-long period magnetars. Ultra-long period magnetars are a variety of a neutron star. A neutron star is small and  collapsed from a huge star that exploded as a supernova. A neutron star is highly magnetized, and it spins relatively slowly.

However, nobody ever expected to find one because scientists thought that these objects would be rare or invisible. Surprisingly, the object was so bright that an undergraduate student founded while working on a project.

Scientists only know of the one star of this kind at the moment; however, it’s likely that they will find more, which will help them explore a hidden population of neutron stars in our galaxy.

Difficult words: unleash a huge burst (to release a large amount of something), supernova (an explosion of a star that’s collapsed), magnetize (to act like a magnet).

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