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Curtin team find second pulsating stellar object

Astronomers at Curtin University have followed up their landmark discovery of a mysterious pulsating stellar object last year by finding a second.

The team, led by Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker, believe the object could be an ultra-long period magnetar, a rare type of star with powerful magnetic fields that can produce powerful bursts of energy.

Researchers made the discovery using the MWA telescope in Western Australia before it was subsequently corroborated by telescopes in South Africa and Spain, as well as the XMM-Newton telescope in space.

The apparent magnetar, now named GPM J1839−10, is 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the Scutum constellation.

Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker will be appearing on the next episode of the Space Connect Podcast to talk about the discovery.

“This remarkable object challenges our understanding of neutron stars and magnetars, which are some of the most exotic and extreme objects in the universe,” Dr Hurley-Walker said.

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