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Study: ‘Glitches’ from dead star could reveal origin of mysterious deep space signals

NASA’s X-ray telescopes have recently detected peculiar phenomena known as “glitches” occurring in a highly magnetic neutron star, or magnetar, situated near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. These glitches, characterized by sudden changes in the star’s rotation speed, have provided valuable insights into the internal dynamics of these enigmatic celestial bodies, shedding light on their mysterious nature.

The observed glitches were remarkably potent, causing a notable acceleration in the spin speed of the magnetar while also contributing to the gradual deceleration of its rotation. This phenomenon, occurring within a neutron star—essentially a remnant of a collapsed star—holds significant implications for our comprehension of stellar evolution and behavior.

Scientists speculate that a deeper understanding of the mechanisms at play within magnetars could offer valuable insights into the origins of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), which are transient bursts of radio emissions with intensities surpassing that of an entire galaxy. The occurrence of FRBs has long puzzled scientists, who have struggled to pinpoint their exact origins.

The recent observations of SGR 1935+2154 (SGR 1935), hailed as one of the most active magnetars within our galaxy in recent years, offer promising avenues for unraveling the mysteries surrounding FRBs. Situated approximately 30,000 light-years away from Earth, SGR 1935 became the subject of intensive scrutiny through the utilization of advanced instruments such as the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) aboard the International Space Station and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) space telescope.

By meticulously analyzing the data collected from these observations, scientists hope to elucidate the underlying mechanisms responsible for the generation of FRBs. This newfound understanding may pave the way for more precise predictions and identifications of FRB sources, ultimately unraveling one of the most intriguing cosmic mysteries of our time.


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