The Existence Of A Neutron Star That Shouldn’t Theoretically Exist Put Astronomers In A Bind
A neutron star is basically the evolutionary end point of a star that has gone supernova. The star’s material blows off into space and the core collapses leaving behind a dense ‘something’ that possesses a powerful gravity. Now approximately 24,000 light years from the earth a dead star exists despite our current theories denying its existence. Now why is this? To understand why it is different you need to understand some things first.
Neutron Stars, Jets And Fields
This particular existence is emitting relativistic jets. It comes with a strong magnetic field as well, when the current theory dictates that relativistic jets are only present in neutron stars with much weaker magnetic fields. When the star blows and collapses, it either becomes a neutron star (if mass is three times that of the Sun) or becomes a black hole.
According to James Miller Jones, astronomer of Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), the collapsed core has a strange impact on the magnetic field and ‘causes the star’s magnetic field to increase in strength to several trillion times that of our own Sun, which then gradually weakens again over hundreds of thousands of years.’
Black holes have a much higher density than the neutron star and do not allow even light to achieve escape velocity. Neutron stars have a strong magnetic field and hence can accumulate matter. Now the anomaly star under discussion is part of a binary system, Swift J0243.6+6124 and something similar happens to it as material from a star is accreted by the neutron star.
Scientists haven’t yet fully comprehended what powers Jets possess but what we know is that they are powerful radiation and particle streams and erupt at near light speeds from poles of accreting objects. According to Miller, ‘They are produced whenever matter falls onto a dense central object, from newly-forming stars to white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. The one exception had been neutron stars with strong magnetic fields – around a trillion times stronger than that of the Sun’ It is assumed that they may be constrained by magnetic fields that are strong in nature.
The Existent Non-existent Star
Now back to the existing supposedly non-existent star under discussion, the situation is entirely different. The Swift J0243.6+6124 violates our current assumptions. Researchers at the University of Amsterdam observed that radio emissions were coming from the system in addition to X-ray emissions. It was concluded that these emissions were similar to the relativistic jets from sources like black holes. However, these were much weaker than the other neutron stars in existence.
According to Van den Eijnden, “The radio spectrum of Swift J0243 is the same as that of jets from other sources and evolves in the same way. The radio brightness also follows that of the in-falling gas, as seen in other jet-creating systems. So for the first time ever, we have observed a jet from a neutron star with a strong magnetic field.”
The magnetic field is 10 trillion times stronger than those of the Sun! This particular situation calls for revising of the magnetic field theory suppressing the jets. What do you think?