MilkyWay

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A new discovery could soon be raising the total number of confirmed magnetars to 25.

On 3 June, a brief X-ray burst close to the galactic plane caught the attention of the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT). Follow-up observation and analysis seem to confirm that it was emitted by a previously unknown magnetar, now named Swift J1555.2-5402.

Given how few magnetars we have identified within the Milky Way, any new addition has the potential to vastly increase our understanding of these mysterious objects.

Magnetars have been something of a cosmic celebrity lately. They're a very rare type of neutron star, which are the collapsed cores of stars that started out with masses between 8 and 30 times that of the Sun.

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