Vela is a neutron star famous for so-called "glitch hunter," or astronomers looking for the sky for stars that rotate regularly but suddenly accelerate. This particular star, known to glitch around once every three years, has just announced its stellar insides during the latest glitch.
A team of astronomers at Monash University in Australia recently studied the glitching star, located around 1,000 light-years away. from Earth to the southern sky. They observed how spins were faster during its glitch before resting in a final state, Monash University officials said in a statement . these glitches.
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"Immediately before the glitch, we noticed that the star seemed to slow down the rate of rotate it before rotating it back up, "said Greg Ashton, a researcher at the Monash University School of Physics and Astronomy and one of the authors of the study. "We really had no idea why it was, and this is the first time it has been seen."
Neutron stars are some of the darkest objects in the universe, as they each have about 1.4 times that of days while measuring only 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) wide. The stars rotate regularly, rotating around 43,000 times per minute. At times, however, some neutron stars run and accelerate.
For this previous study, astronomers have re-observed Vela glitch observations made in 2016; Scientists have noticed how the neutron star slows down before the glitch and then accelerates backward. The findings suggested that this "slowing down" was the reason behind the glitch, as it created a lag within the internal constituents of the star, the study said.
The internal components include a "soup of superfluid neutrons in the inner layer of the crust [that] moving ahead and pressing the star's crust tightly," Paul Lasky, a researcher at Monash University The School of Physics and Astronomy and a co-author of the study, the statement said.
"But then, a second superfluid soup [neutrons] moving to the core gets up to the first one, causing the star to rotate, which is added," Lasky added.
The lag that can cause glitch occurs between the superfluid of the subatomic particles and the surrounding crust, according to the study.
Previous studies have predicted this process in which the rotation of stars accelerates and slows, but this study marked the first real-time observations of that slowing before a glitch. The team said from a recent study that their observation could lead to new theories explaining neutron stars and their glitches.
The study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy Monday (August 12).