Magnetars are among the many most ridiculous objects within the universe. Composed of the densest materials potential rotating quicker than your kitchen mixer, they generate the strongest magnetic fields ever seen by the cosmos – and astronomers have just lately noticed a new child child.
Neutron stars are made up of the remaining nuclei of huge stars. Within the ultimate moments earlier than the cataclysmic loss of life of the guardian star, billions and billions of tons of plasma crash into the middle at a wholesome fraction of the velocity of sunshine. This intense crushing reduces the guts to extremely excessive densities. These densities – and the temperatures that accompany them – are sufficient to push the electrons into protons, remodeling the nucleus into a large ball of neutrons.
And so, the loss of life of a star that burns hydrogen provides beginning to a neutron star, an object weighing a number of occasions that of the solar piled up in a quantity no bigger than your neighborhood. These beasts are made up nearly fully of neutrons (therefore the title) however comprise sufficient protons and remaining electrons to generate fierce magnetic fields.
And I imply fierce. The magnetic fields discovered round sure neutron stars can exceed 100 million occasions the power of the strongest magnets made by man. They’re, certainly, essentially the most highly effective magnets within the recognized (and doubtless unknown) universe.
They’re known as magnetars. And they’re superior.
Astronomers suspect that when neutron stars are born for the primary time, they spin quick sufficient to energy these spectacular magnetic fields. However sustaining these exploits of magnetic pressure is just not a straightforward process, and the highly effective fields solely serve to decelerate the magnetar, in the end turning it into one other boring previous neutron star.
A curious occasion often called Swift J1818.Zero-1607, a burst of gamma rays, was detected by NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory on March 2. Observe-up observations with the European House Company’s XMM-Newton observatory and NASA’s personal NuSTAR telescope have supplied all of the electromagnetic clues crucial for astronomers to reconstruct the origins of such a robust explosion. .