Astronomers have discovered a strange object that emits radio waves into space every 22 minutes. The relevant study was published in the journal Nature, reports Gizmodo.
Radio waves are emitted by a neutron star with an intense magnetic field (magnetar), located approximately 15,000 light-years from Earth. 22-minute periods may seem relatively frequent on Earth’s time scales, but most such objects have periods ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes.
This magnetar was named GPM J1839-10. Its outbursts last up to five minutes and have been recurring since at least 1988.
“This remarkable object challenges our understanding of neutron stars and magnetars, which are some of the most exotic and extreme objects in the Universe,” said Natasha Hurley-Walker, an astronomer at Curtin University’s International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the study’s lead author.
As you know, magnetars are responsible for the large number of fast radio bursts that astronomers observe throughout space. But long-period radio emissions occur less often.