Neutron Star named SGR J1830-0645 Milli-second Burst detected by AstroSat in High Magnetic Field, Shedding Light on Stellar Entities

AstroSat observation of the magnetar SGR J1830-0645 during its first detected X-ray outburst

Unveiling the Secrets of a Cosmic Mystery: Exploring the Unique Magnetar SGR J1830-0645

Deep in the vast expanse of space, hidden amongst the twinkling stars and swirling nebulae, reside celestial oddities that defy easy explanation. One such enigma is the magnetar, a super-dense neutron star boasting a magnetic field millions, or even billions, times stronger than Earth’s. These enigmatic objects pulsate with intense energy, releasing bursts of radiation that paint the cosmos with their celestial fireworks.

A Young Star’s Explosive Secrets: SGR J1830-0645 Takes Center Stage

In 2020, astronomers discovered a new member of this fascinating family: SGR J1830-0645. This young, isolated neutron star, born from the fiery death throes of a massive star, immediately captured the attention of scientists with its unique properties. Eager to unravel its secrets, researchers from India’s Raman Research Institute and the University of Delhi turned their gaze towards this cosmic gem, wielding the powerful AstroSat, the country’s first multi-wavelength space observatory.

A Shower of Cosmic Shards: AstroSat Detects Bursts of X-Ray Energy

AstroSat, equipped with instruments like the LAXPC and SXT, trained its keen eyes on SGR J1830-0645, focusing on the X-ray portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This focus paid off handsomely, revealing a spectacular display of X-ray bursts. These rapid flashes, lasting mere milliseconds, rained down upon the observatory, with a total of 67 bursts captured, averaging a fleeting 33 milliseconds each. This unprecedented observation was a major step forward in understanding the extreme conditions swirling within a young magnetar.

A Star with Lines: Unveiling the Enigma of Emission Lines

But SGR J1830-0645 wasn’t content with just a light show. Its spectrum, the fingerprint of its energy output, held another surprise: emission lines. These distinct peaks hinted at the presence of specific elements or processes at work within the star’s fiery heart. However, the origin of these lines remained shrouded in mystery. Could they be the fluorescent glow of iron atoms, the whisper of protons dancing in a cosmic cyclotron, or even an instrument’s playful echo? Further investigation is needed to solve this cosmic puzzle.

A Tale of Two Temperatures: Unmasking the Magnetar’s Inner Workings

The team’s analysis revealed another fascinating aspect of SGR J1830-0645: its energy dependence. Unlike many other magnetars, the pulsating X-ray emission from this young star varied significantly depending on the energy level observed. At lower energies, around 5 kilo electron volts (keV), the pulse shone brightest, only to fade dramatically at higher energies. This unique behavior provided a glimpse into the intricate dance of temperature and pressure within the star’s interior, suggesting the presence of two distinct hot regions, each radiating with its own thermal fingerprint.

Unlocking the Secrets of the Cosmos, One Burst at a Time

The discovery of SGR J1830-0645 and its unique properties offer a valuable stepping stone in our quest to understand the extraordinary world of magnetars. Each burst, each emission line, and each energy-dependent variation adds a brushstroke to the portrait of these enigmatic celestial objects. By studying SGR J1830-0645 and its brethren, we inch closer to unraveling the secrets of the universe’s most extreme environments, where gravity reigns supreme and energy dances in a cosmic ballet.

Co-author Prof. Chetana Jain from Hansraj College, University of Delhi, said“We noticed that the pulsed component of the overall X-ray emission showed significant variation with energy. It increased for energies to about 5 kilo electron volts (keV) and showed a steep drop after that. This trend is different from that observed in several other magnetars.”

This research not only sheds light on individual magnetars but also contributes to our broader understanding of stellar evolution, neutron star physics, and the complex interplay of forces within these magnificent celestial bodies. As we continue to explore the cosmos and unveil its hidden treasures, the story of SGR J1830-0645 reminds us that the universe holds countless surprises waiting to be discovered, each one a testament to the boundless creativity and wonder of the cosmos.

Publication Details-
Rahul Sharma, Chetana Jain, Biswajit Paul, T R Seshadri
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 526, Issue 4, December 2023, Pages 4877–4884

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Source(s): Government of India/ Department of Science & Technology

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