Question: I’ve been researching magnetars independently for quite a while, but haven’t found many specifics on the radio emissions of magnetars. What do we know about the radio astronomy of magnetars? Is there a ‘fingerprint’ or defining aspect that tags a scan as a magnetar? — Erica
Answer: Magnetars are noteworthy for the intense bursts of X-ray and gamma ray radiation that they emit, which is a product of their intense magnetic fields. They are basically a special breed of pulsar, differentiated from other pulsating neutron stars by having even stronger magnetic fields, and rotating comparatively slowly, with most magnetars completing a rotation once every one to ten seconds. I am aware of only two magnetars which have been detected at radio wavelengths; XTE J1810-197 and 1E 1547.0-5408. Their pulses are observed to be bright, narrow, and highly linearly-polarized. In general, though, radio emission from magnetars appears to be rare.