Latest Magnetar Stories

2008-06-30 14:40:00

GREENBELT, Md. -- A new NASA mission could discover the shape of space that has been distorted by a spinning black hole's crushing gravity, and explore the structure and effects of the formidable magnetic field around magnetars, dead stars with magnetic fields trillions of times stronger than Earth's. Current missions either don't have the resolution to do this, or in the case of magnetic field imaging, simply can't do this because magnetic fields are invisible. The proposed new mission,...

2008-05-28 13:05:00

Pasadena, Calif. -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a bizarre ring of material around the magnetic remains of a star that blasted to smithereens. The stellar corpse, called SGR 1900+14, belongs to a class of objects known as magnetars. These are the cores of massive stars that blew up in supernova explosions, but unlike other dead stars, they slowly pulsate with X-rays and have tremendously strong magnetic fields. "The universe is a big place and weird things can happen," said...

2008-02-21 13:10:00

NASA and McGill scientists find star which morphs from pulsar to magnetar Observations from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) have revealed that the youngest known pulsing neutron star has thrown a temper tantrum. The collapsed star occasionally unleashes powerful bursts of X-rays, which are forcing astronomers to rethink the life cycle of neutron stars. "We are watching one type of neutron star literally change into another right before our very eyes. This is a long-sought missing...

2007-10-17 14:55:00

With eyes that peer into the most energetic phenomena in the universe, ESA's Integral has been setting records, discovering the unexpected and helping understanding the unknown over its first five years. Integral was launched on 17 October 2002. Since then, the satellite has helped scientists make great strides in understanding the gamma-ray universe - from the atoms that make up all matter, giant black holes, mysterious gamma-ray bursts to the densest objects in the universe.  The...

2007-09-20 12:46:32

'Magnetar' Magnetic Field is 600 Trillion Times Stronger Than Earth's University of Arizona astronomers have pinpointed the origin of powerful bursts from nature's most magnetic objects. The bursts are from "magnetars," some of the most enigmatic objects in the universe. Magnetars are a type of neutron star, which are superdense stars that pack the mass of a sun into a body the size of Manhattan Island. Tiny magnetars possess magnetic fields that are at least 100 trillion times as powerful as...

2007-04-04 13:05:00

Astronomers using data from several X-ray satellites have caught a magnetar "“ the remnant of a massive star with an incredibly strong magnetic field "“ in a sort of giant cosmic blench. When it comes to eerie astrophysical effects, the neutron stars commonly known as magnetars are hard to beat. The massive remnants of exploded stars, magnetars are the size of mountains but weigh as much as the sun, and have magnetic fields hundreds of trillions of times more powerful than the...

2007-03-08 15:27:24

In a series of landmark observations gathered over a period of four months, NASA's Swift satellite has challenged some of astronomers' fundamental ideas about gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), which are among the most extreme events in our universe. GRBs are the explosive deaths of very massive stars, some of which eject jets that can release in a matter of seconds the same amount of energy that the sun will radiate over its 10-billion-year lifetime. When GRB jets slam into nearby interstellar gas,...

2006-08-30 16:35:00

Unusual Gamma-Ray Burst Studied in Detail Astronomers, using ESO's Very Large Telescope, have for the first time made the link between an X-ray flash and a supernova. Such flashes are the little siblings of gamma-ray bursts (GRB) and this discovery suggests the existence of a population of events less luminous than 'classical' GRBs, but possibly much more numerous. "This extends the GRB-supernova connection to X-ray flashes and fainter supernovae, implying a common origin," said Elena Pian,...

2006-08-30 16:30:00

A cosmic explosion seen last February may have been the "tip of an iceberg," showing that powerful, distant gamma ray bursts are outnumbered ten-to-one by less-energetic cousins, according to an international team of astronomers. A study of the explosion with X-ray and radio telescopes showed that it is "100 times less energetic than gamma ray bursts seen in the distant universe. We were able to see it because it's relatively nearby," said Alicia Soderberg, of Caltech, leader of the research...

2006-07-07 09:44:46

Thanks to data from ESA's XMM-Newton satellite, a team of scientists taking a closer look at an object discovered over 25 years ago have found that it is like none other known in our galaxy. The object is in the heart of supernova remnant RCW103, the gaseous remains of a star that exploded about 2 000 years ago. Taken at face value, RCW103 and its central source would appear to be a textbook example of what is left behind after a supernova explosion: a bubble of ejected material and a neutron...

Latest Magnetar Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:43

X-ray Pulsar -- This dramatic artist's vision shows a city-sized neutron star centered in a disk of hot plasma drawn from its enfeebled red companion star. Ravenously accreting material from the disk, the neutron star spins faster and faster emitting powerful particle beams and pulses of X-rays as it rotates 400 times a second. Could such a bizarre and inhospitable star system really exist in our Universe? Based on data from the orbiting Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite,...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Pulsar -- A pulsar, which originally stood for pulsating radio source, is a rapidly rotating neutron star, whose electromagnetic radiation is observed in regularly spaced interval, or pulses. Pulsars are closely related to magnetars, the main difference being the strenght of the object's magnetic field. History Pulsars were discovered by Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish in 1967 while they were using a radio array to study the scintillation of quasars. They found a very regular...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Magnetar -- A magnetar is a neutron star with a strong magnetic field. The theory around these objects was formulated by Robert Duncan and Christopher Thompson. When in a supernova a star collapses to a neutron star, its magnetic field increases dramatically in strength. Duncan and Thompson calculated that the magnetic field of a neutron star, normally an already enormous 1012 tesla could under certain circumstances grow even larger, to about 1015 tesla. Such a highly magnetic neutron...

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Word of the Day
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.