Magnetar mysteries in our galaxy and beyond

In a new Caltech-led study, researchers from campus and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have analyzed pulses of radio waves coming from a magnetar—a rotating, dense, dead star with a strong magnetic field—that is ...

Two sides of the same star

If you've ever heard of the phrase two sides of the same coin, you know it means two things that at first appear to be unrelated are actually parts of the same thing. Now, a fundamental example can be found in the deep recesses ...

A magnetar just woke up after three years of silence

When stars reach the end of their main sequence, they undergo a gravitational collapse, ejecting their outermost layers in a supernova explosion. What remains afterward is a dense, spinning core primarily made up of neutrons ...

What are magnetars?

In a previous article, we crushed that idea that the Universe is perfect for life. It's not. Almost the entire Universe is a horrible and hostile place, apart from a fraction of a mostly harmless planet in a backwater corner ...

Magnetar formation mystery solved?

Magnetars are the super-dense remnants of supernova explosions. They are the strongest magnets known in the Universe—millions of times more powerful than the strongest magnets on Earth. A team of astronomers using ESO's ...

A strong magnetic field around the Milky Way's black hole

(Phys.org) —Astronomers have made an important measurement of the magnetic field emanating from a swirling disk of material surrounding the black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. The measurement, made by observing ...

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Magnetar

A magnetar is a type of neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field, the decay of which powers the emission of copious amounts of high-energy electromagnetic radiation, particularly X-rays and gamma rays. The theory regarding these objects was proposed by Robert Duncan and Christopher Thompson in 1992, but the first recorded burst of gamma rays thought to have been from a magnetar was detected on March 5, 1979. During the following decade, the magnetar hypothesis has become widely accepted as a likely explanation for soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs).

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