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In its first scientific publication, South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope observes a rare burst of activity from an exotic star

6 Apr 2018, 13:45 UTC
In its first scientific publication, South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope observes a rare burst of activity from an exotic star SARAO

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, an SKA precursor telescope being built in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, 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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