n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - News Note : MeerKAT observes a rare burst of activity from a Magnetar

Volume 77 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 0024-8266


South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope recently observed a rare burst of activity from an exotic star, demonstrating its outstanding capabilities as a new instrument for scientific exploration. An article published today in the Astrophysical Journal presents the study of a magnetar -- a star that is one of the most magnetic objects known in the universe -- that awoke in 2017 from a 3-year slumber. Radio observations that could only be made with MeerKAT triggered observations with NASA X-ray telescopes orbiting the Earth. This first publication in the scientific literature of astronomical discoveries requiring the use of MeerKAT heralds its arrival into the stable of world-class research instruments.

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