Yes, Virginia, There is a Magnetar! |
[26 October 1998] - A star, located 40,000 light-years from Earth, is generating the
most intense magnetic field yet observed in the Universe, according to an
international team of astronomers led by scientists at NASA's Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.
The discovery confirms the existence of a special class of neutron stars
dubbed "magnetars." A neutron star is a burned-out star roughly equal
in mass to the Sun that has collapsed through gravitational forces to be
only about 10 miles across. A magnetar has a magnetic field estimated to
be one thousand trillion times the strength of Earth's magnetic field.
Magnetars have a magnetic field that is about 100 times stronger than the
typical neutron star.