The strongest magnet in the Universe started giving strange signals

Scientists have recorded unusual activity radio-large magnetar Swift J1818.0-1607, which is a neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field. The object, which is considered one of the strongest magnets in the universe, began to generate strange pulses – writes the publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Astronomers first detected the magnetar Swift J1818.0-1607 by a strong flash of X-rays, which he produced in March 2020. The object then began generating strange radio pulses, different from the usual signals of radio magnetars. As the researchers clarified, normally radio pulses have constant power over a wide range of frequencies, but Swift J1818.0-1607’s pulses are much brighter at low frequencies. This fact makes the magnetar look like a pulsar.

Observations made with the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope showed that the object produced strange pulsar-like pulses in May, and in June the magnetar began flickering, exhibiting pulsar and magnetar behavior alternately. Scientists note that such activity has not previously been recorded from similar objects.

“Apparently, we are facing a magnetar with a horseshoe-shaped magnet configuration. This feature makes the object unique and very important to study”, – say astronomers.