Astronomers have found out what might be the most effective pulsar ever identified.
They assume that the newfound object, VT 1137-0337, is a pulsar wind nebula and a neutron star that stimulates nearby charged particles at close to the velocity of light.
The astronomers detected the pulsar in a series of images from the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS), a project of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is conducting three full-sky scans from the Very Large Array (VLA) near Socorro, New Mexico, over the course of seven years. Researchers can analyze these images to search for transient objects such as supernovas and gamma-ray bursts.
They discovered 20 transient objects in the newer image that did not exist in the older photo. One thing, VT 1137-0337, located in a dwarf galaxy 395 million light-years from Earth, caught their eye.
“This one stood out because its galaxy is experiencing a burst of star formation, and also because of the characteristics of its radio emission,” Dong announced in a statement.
There is a possibility, however, that this energetic object is not a nebula wind pulsar at all. Instead, it might be a magnet or a neutron star with an incredibly powerful magnetic field that might be the origin of mysterious flashes known as fast radio bursts.
The researchers will proceed to study VT 1137-0337, surveying it via subsequent VLASS observations. Now, the object has appeared in images each year since 2018.
Dong and Hallinan illustrated their research at the 240th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena, California.