Artist’s thought of a magnetar, with magnetic topic traces

Artist’s thought of a worthy magnetar in a big title cluster

A magnetar is a form of neutron big title believed to possess an especially worthy magnetic topic (∼109 to 1011T, ∼1013 to 1015G).[1] The magnetic topic decay powers the emission of excessive-vitality electromagnetic radiation, seriously X-rays and gamma rays.[2] The speculation referring to these objects changed into as soon as proposed by Robert Duncan and Christopher Thompson in 1992, however the first recorded burst of gamma rays idea to were from a magnetar had been detected on March 5, 1979.[3] In the end of the next decade, the magnetar speculation turned widely authorized as a probable motive at the advantage of soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). On 1 June 2020, astronomers reported narrowing down the source of Immediate Radio Bursts (FRBs), that would possibly perhaps maybe now plausibly include “compact-object mergers and magnetars bobbing up from long-established core fall down supernovae“.[4][5][6]


Fancy other neutron stars, magnetars are around 20 kilometres (12 mi) in diameter and possess a mass 1–2 times that of the Solar. The density of the interior of a magnetar is such that a tablespoon of its substance would possess a mass of over 100 million tons.[2] Magnetars are differentiated from other neutron stars by having even stronger magnetic fields, and by rotating extra slowly in comparability. Most magnetars rotate as soon as every two to 10 seconds,[7] whereas conventional neutron stars rotate as soon as in lower than a few seconds. A magnetar’s magnetic topic presents upward push to very solid and characteristic bursts of X-rays and gamma rays. The spirited existence of a magnetar is transient. Their solid magnetic fields decay after about 10,000 years, after which sigh and solid X-ray emission raze. Given the desire of magnetars observable lately, one estimate puts the desire of lazy magnetars within the Milky Arrangement at 30 million or extra.[7]

Starquakes precipitated on the bottom of the magnetar disturb the magnetic topic which encompasses it, veritably leading to extremely worthy gamma ray flare emissions which were recorded on Earth in 1979, 1998, and 2004.[8]

Neutron Star Forms (24 June 2020)

Magnetic topic[edit]

Magnetars are characterised by their extremely worthy magnetic fields of ∼109 to 1011T.[9] These magnetic fields are a hundred million times stronger than any man-made magnet,[10] and a few thousand billion times extra worthy than the topic surrounding Earth.[11] Earth has a geomagnetic topic of 30–60 microteslas, and a neodymium-essentially based, rare-earth magnet has a topic of about 1.25 tesla, with a magnetic vitality density of 4.0×105 J/m3. A magnetar’s 1010 tesla topic, by contrast, has an vitality density of 4.0×1025 J/m3, with an E/c2 mass density extra than 10,000 times that of lead. Usual relativity predicts foremost spacetime bending results attributable to these big magnetic fields, but quantum concerns counsel in any other case.[12]
The magnetic topic of a magnetar would be lethal even at a distance of 1000 km attributable to the solid magnetic topic distorting the electron clouds of the topic’s constituent atoms, rendering the chemistry of existence very no longer going.[13] At a distance of midway from Earth to the moon, a magnetar would possibly perhaps perhaps strip data from the magnetic stripes of all credit playing cards on Earth.[14] As of 2010, they’re the strongest magnetic objects detected at some point of the universe.[8][15]

As described within the February 2003 Scientific American quilt yarn, excellent things occur interior a magnetic topic of magnetar strength. “X-ray photons readily damage up in two or merge. The vacuum itself is polarized, becoming strongly birefringent, love a calcite crystal. Atoms are deformed into prolonged cylinders thinner than the quantum-relativistic de Broglie wavelength of an electron.”[3] In a topic of about 105 teslas atomic orbitals deform into rod shapes. At 1010 teslas, a hydrogen atom becomes a spindle 200 times narrower than its long-established diameter.[3]

Origins of magnetic fields[edit]

The dominant theory of the solid fields of magnetars is that it results from a magnetohydrodynamic dynamo job within the turbulent, extremely dense conducting fluid that exists sooner than the neutron big title settles into its equilibrium configuration. These fields then persist attributable to continual currents in a proton-superconductor fragment of topic that exists at an intermediate depth interior the neutron big title (where neutrons predominate by mass). A the same magnetohydrodynamic dynamo job produces even extra intense transient fields at some point of coalescence of pairs of neutron stars.[16] But every other theory is that they merely result from the fall down of stars with surprisingly excessive magnetic fields.[17]


Magnetar SGR 1900+14 (center of image) exhibiting a surrounding ring of gasoline 7 light-years across in infrared light, as viewed by the Spitzer Deliver Telescope. The magnetar itself is no longer viewed at this wavelength but has been viewed in X-ray light.

When in a supernova, a big title collapses to a neutron big title, and its magnetic topic will increase dramatically in strength thru conservation of magnetic flux. Halving a linear dimension will increase the magnetic topic fourfold. Duncan and Thompson calculated that when the dash, temperature and magnetic topic of a newly fashioned neutron big title falls into the correct ranges, a dynamo mechanism would possibly perhaps perhaps act, converting heat and rotational vitality into magnetic vitality and growing the magnetic topic, in general an already obliging 108teslas, to extra than 1011 teslas (or 1015gauss). The result is a magnetar.[18] It’s estimated that about one in ten supernova explosions finally ends up in a magnetar relatively than a extra long-established neutron big title or pulsar.[19]

1979 discovery[edit]

On March 5, 1979, a few months after the successful shedding of satellites into the atmosphere of Venus, the two unmanned Soviet spaceprobes, Venera 11 and 12, that had been then drifting thru the Characterize voltaic Gadget had been hit by a blast of gamma radiation at approximately 10: 51 EST. This contact raised the radiation readings on each and every the probes from a protracted-established 100 counts per second to over 200,000 counts a second, in most efficient a fraction of a millisecond.[3]

This burst of gamma rays lickety-split persisted to unfold. Eleven seconds later, Helios 2, a NASA probe, which changed into as soon as in orbit across the Solar, changed into as soon as saturated by the blast of radiation. It soon hit Venus, and the Pioneer Venus Orbiter‘s detectors had been overcome by the wave. Seconds later, Earth bought the wave of radiation, where the worthy output of gamma rays inundated the detectors of three U.S. Division of Defense Vela satellites, the Soviet Prognoz 7 satellite, and the Einstein Observatory. Appropriate sooner than the wave exited the Characterize voltaic Gadget, the blast moreover hit the Worldwide Solar–Earth Explorer. This extremely worthy blast of gamma radiation constituted the strongest wave of extra-solar gamma rays ever detected; it changed into as soon as over 100 times extra intense than any recognized old extra-solar burst. Attributable to gamma rays scoot at the velocity of light and the time of the heart beat changed into as soon as recorded by a number of distant spacecraft as well as on Earth, the source of the gamma radiation is probably to be calculated to an accuracy of about 2 arcseconds.[20] The direction of the source corresponded with the remnants of a big title that had long gone supernova around 3000 B.C.E.[8] It changed into as soon as within the Natty Magellanic Cloud and the source changed into as soon as named SGR 0525-66; the match itself changed into as soon as named GRB 790305b, the first noticed SGR megaflare.

Recent discoveries[edit]

Artist’s affect of a gamma-ray burst and supernova powered by a magnetar [21]

On February 21, 2008, it changed into as soon as announced that NASA and researchers at McGill College had stumbled on a neutron big title with the properties of a radio pulsar which emitted some magnetically powered bursts, love a magnetar. This suggests that magnetars are no longer merely a rare possess of pulsar but is mostly a (perhaps reversible) fragment within the lives of some pulsars.[22] On September 24, 2008, ESO announced what it ascertained changed into as soon as the first optically spirited magnetar-candidate but stumbled on, utilizing ESO’s Very Natty Telescope. The newly stumbled on object changed into as soon as designated SWIFT J195509+261406.[23] On September 1, 2014, ESA released news of a magnetar stop to supernova remnant Kesteven 79. Astronomers from Europe and China stumbled on this magnetar, named 3XMM J185246.6+003317, in 2013 by having a peek at photos that had been taken in 2008 and 2009.[24] In 2013, a magnetar PSR J1745-2900 changed into as soon as stumbled on, which orbits the murky hole within the Sagittarius A* machine. This object presents a treasured tool for discovering out the ionized interstellar medium against the Galactic Heart. In 2018, the tip result of the merger of two neutron stars changed into as soon as obvious to be a hypermassive magnetar.[25]

In April 2020, a probable link between rapidly radio bursts (FRBs) and magnetars changed into as soon as steered, in step with observations of SGR 1935+2154, a probable magnetar positioned within the Milky Arrangement galaxy.[26][27]

Identified magnetars[edit]

On 27 December 2004, a burst of gamma rays from SGR 1806-20 passed thru the Characterize voltaic Gadget (artist’s thought shown). The burst changed into as soon as so worthy that it had results on Earth’s atmosphere, at moderately a few about 50,000 light years.

As of March 2016, 23 magnetars are recognized, with six extra candidates looking at for affirmation.[9] A beefy listing is given within the McGill SGR/AXP On-line Catalog.[9] Examples of recognized magnetars include:

  • SGR 0525-66, within the Natty Magellanic Cloud, positioned about 163,000 light-years from Earth, the first stumbled on (in 1979)
  • SGR 1806-20, positioned 50,000 light-years from Earth on the far facet of the Milky Arrangement within the constellation of Sagittarius.
  • SGR 1900+14, positioned 20,000 light-years away within the constellation Aquila. After a prolonged duration of low emissions (foremost bursts most efficient in 1979 and 1993) it turned spirited in Would possibly maybe perhaps also honest–August 1998, and a burst detected on August 27, 1998 changed into as soon as of adequate vitality to pressure NEAR Shoemaker to shut all of the manner down to raze harm and to saturate instruments on BeppoSAX, WIND and RXTE. On Would possibly maybe perhaps also honest 29, 2008, NASA’s Spitzer Deliver Telescope stumbled on a hoop of topic around this magnetar. It’s idea that this ring fashioned within the 1998 burst.[28]
  • SGR 0501+4516 changed into as soon as stumbled on on 22 August 2008.[29]
  • 1E 1048.1−5937, positioned 9,000 light-years away within the constellation Carina. The customary big title, from which the magnetar fashioned, had a mass 30 to 40 times that of the Solar.
  • As of September 2008, ESO studies identification of an object which it has initially recognized as a magnetar, SWIFT J195509+261406, initially recognized by a gamma-ray burst (GRB 070610).[23]
  • CXO J164710.2-455216, positioned within the big galactic cluster Westerlund 1, which fashioned from a big title with a mass in diagram over 40 solar loads.[30][31][32]
  • SWIFT J1822.3 Star-1606 stumbled on on 14 July 2011 by Italian and Spanish researchers of CSIC at Madrid and Catalonia. This magnetar contrary to previsions has a low exterior magnetic topic, and it’s far probably to be as younger as half a million years.[33]
  • 3XMM J185246.6+003317 Found by world crew of astronomers, having a peek at data from ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray telescope.[citation needed]
  • SGR 1935+2154, emitted a pair of vivid radio bursts on 28 April 2020. There changed into as soon as speculation that these can be galactic examples of rapidly radio bursts.
  • Swift J1818.0-1607, x-ray burst detected March 2020, is truly one of 5 recognized magnetars which would be moreover radio pulsars. It ought to be most efficient 240 years damaged-down.[34]

Intelligent supernovae[edit]

Surprisingly keen supernovae are idea to result from the death of very big stars as pair-instability supernovae (or pulsational pair-instability supernovae). On the other hand, most up-to-date analysis by astronomers[35][36] has postulated that vitality released from newly fashioned magnetars into the surrounding supernova remnants can be guilty for among the brightest supernovae, similar to SN 2005ap and SN 2008es.[37][38][39]

Peer moreover[edit]


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  2. ^ a b Ward; Brownlee, p.286
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