The discovery was made in the X-ray binary neutron star Swift J0243.6+6124, the first ultraluminous X-ray pulsar of the Milky Way.
The Chinese space observatory Insight-HXMT recorded the direct measurement of the magnetic field over strongest known universe to date.
Astronomers discovered a cyclotron absorption line with an energy of 146 KeV in the X-ray binary neutron star Swift J0243.6+6124, the first ultraluminous X-ray pulsar in the Milky Way, corresponding to a superficial magnetic field of more than 1,600 million teslas of intensity.
It should be noted that neutron stars have the strongest magnetic fields in the universe, and the only way to directly measure their surface magnetic field is by looking at the cyclotron absorption lines in their X-ray energy spectra.
The findings of the joint work of the Key Laboratory of Particle Astrophysics of the Academy of Sciences of China and the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Tübingen (Germany) were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Furthermore, the study is the first concrete evidence that the structure of the magnetic field of a neutron star is more complex than that of a traditional symmetric dipole field, and also provides the first measurement of the non-symmetric component of a neutron star’s magnetic field.
Insight-HXMT, the first Chinese hard X-ray modulation telescope, had previously detected in 2020 the strongest magnetic field ever observed, of about 1,000 million tesla, coming from the pulsar star GRO J1008- 57.