Image Credit: ESO / L Calcada

Magnets are one of the fascinating objects of the stars. One teaspoonful of the material may weigh about a billion tons, and they have a magnetic field hundreds of millions of times more potent than any other magnetic field on Earth today. But we do not know much about the way they were made. The new paper identifies one possible source — a combination of neutron stars.

The Neutron stars themselves are equally attractive in themselves. Magnets are generally considered to be a kind of neutron star, a significant difference in the strength of that magnetic field. It is thought that there are billions of neutron stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some of which occur in pairs.

When they are bound by gravity, the stars enter the final dance of death, which often leads to a dark hole or, more likely, one or both turn into magnets. That process could take hundreds of millions of years to build up to an absolute explosion (or collapse). But when it does happen, it becomes a spectacle, and a team of researchers thinks they found that it happened a few weeks before they saw it.

More precisely, it happened 228 million years ago, which is how far away the galaxy is. However, the light from this spectacular event reached the nerves in the Pan-STARRs just a few weeks before it started looking at that celestial body. And what makes this magnetar stand out to all other scientists who have discovered how fast it turns.

Neutron stars rotate thousands of times per minute, making their time in milliseconds. But magnetic field scientists find they are different because their cycle time is slower, usually only once every two to ten seconds. But GRB130310A, as the new magnetar is now known, has a rotation time of 80 milliseconds, which places it closer to the order of the neutron stars than the average magnetic field.

This disagreement may have been due to the remarkably young age when Zhang Binbin and his colleagues discovered this magnetar. It has to complete its slow rotation, as did many other magnets. But the fact that its orbiting time approaches the level of neutron stars indicates where it may be to start as one of those neutron stars itself.

The current rotation of the GRB130310A takes thousands of years, but eventually, the magnets disappear and are almost invisible. An estimated 30 million dead magnets float in the Milky Way, and at least some of them may have started at the same orbit around GRB130310A.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.

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