Neutron Star Radio Signal Vela-X 1 Milky Way Earth
Astronomer Dr Manisha Caleb from the University of Sydney and her colleagues have discovered a neutron star emitting a strange radio signal from the Vela-X 1 region of the Milky Way located 1,300 light-years awa from Earth. Not just any neutron star, this one rotates very slowly, as it completes one rotation every 76 seconds, and resides in the ‘neutron star graveyard’.

This ‘neutron star graveyard’ is a place where no pulsations are expected. The MeerTRAP team used the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa initially detected this neutron star from a single pulse (PSR J0941-4046), which lasted approximately 300 milliseconds. pulse, Caleb says, lasted around 300 milliseconds. These pulsars are typically the remnants of a collapsed giant star and emit radio signals from their poles. These pulses are then measured from Earth as the star rotates. Hopefully, one of these discoveries ends up being another Earth-like planet with liquid water on its surface.

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This means that it is very lucky that the radio beam intersected with the Earth. It is therefore likely that there are many more of these very slowly spinning stars in the Galaxy, which has important implications for understanding how neutron stars are born and age. The majority of pulsar surveys do not search for periods this long, so we have no idea how many of these stars might exist,” said Dr Manisha Caleb, Research Lead from the University of Sydney.