Latest Magnetar Stories
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.
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.
Thanks to data from ESAâ€™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.
Scientists using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer have estimated the depth of the crust on a neutron star, the densest object known in the universe. The crust, they say, is close to a mile deep and so tightly packed that a teaspoon of this material would weigh about 10 million tons on Earth.
Almost 40 years have passed since top secret nuclear weapon warning satellites accidentally discovered bursts of high energy gamma rays coming from space. Although many thousands of gamma ray bursts (GRBs) have since been detected, the origin and nature of these bursts is still not well understood.
Tiny stellar 'corpses' have been caught blasting surprisingly powerful X-rays and gamma rays across our galaxy by ESA's gamma-ray observatory Integral.
A gigantic explosion on a neutron star halfway across the Milky Way galaxy, the largest such explosion ever recorded in the universe, should allow astronomers for the first time to probe the interiors of these mysterious stellar objects.
Astronomy is a science of extremes--the biggest, the hottest, and the most massive. Today, astrophysicist Bryan Gaensler (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and colleagues announced that they have linked two of astronomy's extremes, showing that some of the biggest stars in the cosmos become the strongest magnets when they die.
The center of our galaxy has been known for years to host a black hole, a 'super-massive' yet very quiet one. New observations with Integral, ESA's gamma-ray observatory, have now revealed that 350 years ago the black hole was much more active, releasing a million times more energy than at present. Scientists expect that it will become active again in the future.
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,...
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...
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...