Beginning of a Magnetar | by Brian Koberlein



14 October 2019

Simulation of a merger.
Simulation displaying the magnetic fields of two merging stars.

A magnetar is a particular sort of neutron star. Neutron stars kind when a star collapses beneath its personal weight. Gravity squeezes the star to the purpose that solely the strain of neutrons and quarks can stop it from forming right into a black gap. They’re extremely dense. The mass of a star bigger than our Solar is squeezed right into a quantity solely 20 kilometers throughout. When the star collapses, its magnetic subject can also be compressed, and so neutron stars usually have very sturdy magnetic fields. Far stronger than that of the Earth.

However some neutron stars have even stronger magnetic fields. Their magnetic fields are a thousand occasions stronger than common neutron stars. So highly effective that they can not have been produced by a single star. These neutron stars are referred to as magnetars. Their immense magnetic fields generate bursts of gamma rays and x-rays.

So how do some neutron stars kind such sturdy magnetic fields? One chance is that they kind from the merger of two stars. Not too long ago a crew checked out this concept by creating laptop simulations of merging binary stars. Not like most fashions, their simulation included the results of magnetic fields. They discovered that when two stars merge, they will produce a bigger star. Such giant main-sequence stars are referred to as blue stragglers. The simulations confirmed that the turbulence produced when the 2 stars merge can create extraordinarily sturdy magnetic fields. Thus, when the blue straggler finally dies and collapses, the simulations present it may produce a magnetar.

About 10% of neutron stars are magnetars, and this agrees with the fraction of neutron stars that might kind from mergers. So it appears to be like as if merging stars can produce essentially the most highly effective magnets within the universe.

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