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NASA Astronomers Discover 240-year-old Neutron Star ‘Swift J1818.0−1607’ After Recent X-ray Burst

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Astronomers discover a ‘COSMIC BABYOn June 18, 2020 , Astronomers at the US (United Sates) based space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) have discovered the youngest known magnetar (a type of neutron star) named “Swift J1818.0-1607” about 16,000 light years away from Earth.

Swift J1818.0-1607:

  • It belongs to a special class of objects called “magnetars”.
  • It is estimated to be about 240 years old, making it quite new and young by cosmic standards. It has a magnetic field up to 1,000 times stronger than a typical neutron star and about 100 million times stronger than the most powerful magnets made by humans.
  • It was first discovered back on March 12 by NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory when when a large amount of X-rays were emitted by it. The European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton observatory and NASA’s NuSTAR telescope, then studied this magnetar and found that it was the youngest one.
  • Over 3,000 known neutron stars are there & only 31 magnetars have been discovered. 

What is a magnetar?

A magnetar is a type of neutron star (a smallest and most dense star) with an extremely powerful magnetic field. They are known as the most magnetic objects in the universe. They also release a vast amount of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation.
i.The study has been published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters & led by Paolo Esposito with the School for Advanced Studies (IUSS) in Pavia, Italy.

About NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration):
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States 
Administrator– Jim Bridenstine