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 XMM-Newton Home > Gallery Home > Endpoints of Stellar Evolution > Neutron Stars & Pulsars > 3XMM J185246.6+003317

XMM-Newton discovers transient magnetar

Image
Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of COSPAR; Zhou et al and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

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About this Image

The image of supernova remnant SNR Kesteven 79 obtained in the X-rays (0.3-7 keV) with XMM-Newton (green and blue) overlaid with the radio continuum obtained at 1.4 GHz with VLA (red). The image in two epochs (2007 on the left and 2008 on the right) immediately reveals the appearance of the transient magnetar 3XMM J186536.6+003317 approximately 1 arcminute south from the southern boundary of the SNR.

3XMM J186536.6+003317 has the longest rotation period (11.56 sec) among all known transient magnetars and is the third known low-B magnetar (i.e. an object with dipolar magnetic field lower than the critical value of 4.4x10^13 G). The distance to the magnetar (~7 kpc) indicates that there is a likely connection between this object, the supernova remnant and the "anti-magnetar" (a young neutron star with a low magnetic field) that is located at the SNR centre. It is possible that both stars were members of a binary system (two stars orbiting around each other) that was disrupted during the supernova explosion.

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Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by