Astronomers discover one of the youngest neutron stars on record

Astronomers analyzing data from the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS) have discovered one of the youngest neutron stars -

superdense remnant of a massive star thatexploded like a supernova. Images from the National Science Foundation's Carl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) show that the bright radio emission fed by the magnetic field of a rotating pulsar has only recently emerged from the dense shell of debris from a supernova explosion.

Studying the characteristics of VT 1137-0337, astronomersFor a long time they could not understand what kind of object it was and how it appeared. They concluded that it was a nebula fed by a pulsar wind with a neutron star inside. It appeared when a star much more massive than the Sun exploded as a supernova, leaving behind a neutron star. Most of its original mass was thrown out. A neutron star spins rapidly, and as its powerful magnetic field permeates its surroundings, it accelerates charged particles, causing strong radio emission. They revolve around the pulsar at a speed close to the speed of light.

From top left to bottom right: a massive star before the supernova;
the same star shortly after the collapse;
a star shortly after a supernova;
the neutron star and surrounding debris, which has now expanded enough to let the radio emission through.
A source:
Melissa Weiss, NRAO/AUI/NSF

The most famous example of a nebula fueled by pulsar winds is the Crab Nebula in the constellation Taurus, the result of a supernova explosion in 1054.

The object, named VT 1137-0337, is located indwarf galaxy 395 million light-years from Earth. It first appeared in a VLASS image taken in January 2018. It did not appear in the 1998 VLA FIRST Survey image of the same region. However, it has been observed in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022.

“Judging by its characteristics, this is a very youngpulsar - maybe only 14 years old. In any case, he is no older than 60 to 80 years old, ”said Gregg Hallinan, Ph.D. adviser to Dong at the California Institute of Technology. The scientists reported their findings at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena, California.

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