Only a month ago, a series of all-sky cameras in the Canadian region of southern Ontario captured a long-lasting meteorite fireball as it streaked across the skies. Last night it was the turn of the central province of Saskatchewan to see the spectacular fireball of a meteroid dropping through the atmosphere. According to eye witnesses, the intense light lit up the dark skies and a series of thunderous booms shook the ground.
It was identified as a gamma-ray burst, resulting from a massive explosion in a distant, young galaxy. Then astronomers realised that this flaring object was much closer to home, in fact it was a gamma-ray source within the Milky Way. Astronomers detected 40 visible-light flashes, only for the source to vanish as quickly as it mysteriously appeared. So what generated this huge firework display for astronomers to originally mistaken it for a gamma-ray burst?
It seems we have an answer, and it has surprised many.
One of the rarest objects ever observed may have sprung to life in our galaxy after a long period of calm. This object is a young neutron star with a magnetic field a billion billion times stronger than the Earth’s, otherwise known as a magnetar…
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