Record new measurement of the strongest magnetic field in the universe

Insight-HXMT breaks its measurement record for the strongest magnetic field in the universe

Perception-HXMT detection of a main cyclotron-electron absorption line close to 146 keV for the primary X-ray pulsar within the galaxy Swift J 0243.6 + 6124. Credit score: IHEP

Neutron stars have the strongest magnetic fields within the universe, and the one solution to instantly measure their floor magnetic discipline is to look at cyclotron absorption traces of their X-ray vitality spectra. The Perception-HXMT group not too long ago found a 146-kilovolt cyclotron absorption line within the Swift J0243.6 + 6124 X-ray neutron star binary, akin to a floor magnetic discipline of greater than 1.6 billion tesla. After instantly measuring the strongest magnetic discipline within the universe at about 1 billion tesla in 2020, world information for the very best cyclotron absorption line for vitality and direct measurement of the strongest magnetic discipline within the universe have been damaged.

The outcomes obtained collectively with the Major Laboratory of Particle Astrophysics on the Institute of Excessive Vitality Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese language Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Kepler Middle for Particle and Astrophysics, College of Tübingen (IAAT), have been revealed on June 28 in Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL). Dr. Kong Lingda, Professor Zhang Xu and Professor Zhang Shuangnan of IHEP are the corresponding authors of the paper. Dr. Victor Doroshenko and Professor Andrea Santangelo of the College of Tübingen contributed considerably to this discovery.

The binary X-ray system of a neutron star consists of a neutron star and its companion star. Below the neutron star’s robust gravitational power, the companion star’s fuel falls towards the neutron star, forming an accretion disk. Plasma will fall into the accretion disk alongside magnetic traces on the floor of the neutron star, the place highly effective X-rays are launched. Mixed with the spin of the neutron star, these emissions produce periodic X-ray pulsing indicators, therefore the title “X-ray accretion pulsar” for these objects.

A number of observations revealed that these kind of objects have absorption constructions of their X-ray radiation spectra, the cyclotron absorption traces, that are believed to be resulting from resonance scattering and thus X-ray absorption by electrons transferring alongside robust magnetic fields. The vitality of the absorption construction corresponds to the power of the floor magnetic discipline of a neutron star; Due to this fact, this phenomenon can be utilized to instantly measure the power of the magnetic discipline close to the floor of the neutron star.

Extremely-luminous X-ray pulsars are a category of objects whose X-ray luminosity far exceeds accumulating X-ray pulsars. They’ve beforehand been detected in a number of galaxies removed from the Milky Method. Astronomers have speculated that pulsars have excessive magnetic discipline strengths regardless of the dearth of direct measurement proof.

Perception-HXMT made detailed, broadband observations of the explosion of Swift J0243.6 + 6124, the Milky Method’s first ultra-bright X-ray pulsar, and unambiguously found its cyclotron absorption line. This line revealed an vitality of 146 keV (with a detection significance of about 10 occasions commonplace deviation), which corresponds to a floor magnetic discipline of greater than 1.6 billion Tesla. This isn’t solely the strongest magnetic discipline instantly measured within the universe to this point but additionally the primary detection of an electron-cyclotron absorption line in an ultra-bright X-ray supply, offering a direct measurement of the magnetic discipline of a neutron star’s floor.

The floor magnetic fields of neutron stars are thought to have complicated constructions, starting from dipole fields very removed from the neutron star to multipolar fields affecting solely the area close to the neutron star. Nevertheless, most earlier oblique estimates of the magnetic fields of neutron stars have solely probed dipole fields.

This time, the measurement of the direct magnetic discipline by Perception-HXMT primarily based on the cyclotron absorption line is roughly better than the quantity utilizing oblique means. This serves as the primary concrete proof that the construction of a neutron star’s magnetic discipline is extra complicated than that of a traditional symmetric dipole discipline, and gives the primary measurement of the uneven element of a neutron star’s magnetic discipline.

Perception-HXMT is China’s first X-ray astronomy satellite tv for pc. It consists of science payloads together with a high-power telescope, a medium-power telescope, a low-power telescope, and an area setting observer. Perception-HXMT has benefits over different X-ray satellites by way of broadband spectral protection (1-250 keV), massive efficient space at excessive energies, excessive temporal decision, low downtime, and no cumulative results of vivid sources, thus opening a brand new window For observations of black holes and neutron stars with quick X-ray transitions and vitality spectrum research.

In 2020, the Perception-HXMT group reported the invention of a 90-kilovolt cyclotron absorption line from a neutron star within the X-ray binary system GRO J1008-57, akin to a floor magnetic discipline of 1 billion tesla, a world file. For direct measurement of the strongest magnetic discipline within the universe at the moment. Later, a brand new record-breaking cyclotron absorption line – with its highest vitality round 100 keV – was found by Perception-HXMT from one other neutron star at 1A 0535 + 262. Perception-HXMT has demonstrated its distinctive potential to discover the vitality spectrum by breaking numbers its personal commonplace for cyclotron absorption line discoveries.


The strongest magnetic discipline within the universe was detected instantly by an area X-ray observatory


extra info:
Ling-Da Kong et al, Perception-HXMT detection of the very best vitality CRSF from the primary X-Ray Pulsar Swift J0243.6+6124 galaxy, Astrophysical Journal Letters (2022). DOI: 10.3847 / 2041-8213 / ac7711

Offered by the Chinese language Academy of Sciences

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