A magnetic field is a type of neutron star. It is powered by an extremely strong magnetic field that emits gamma rays and X-ray lightning.
On April 15, 2020, gamma-ray waves, the most active type of light in nature, passed through the solar system. It was first detected by a probe on Mars and about six minutes later by a probe on the surface of the earth.
Gamma-ray bursts are relatively frequent. Usually some will be detected every 48 hours. In all of these, approximately two-thirds of the duration varies from tens of seconds to hundreds of seconds. With less than two seconds remaining, this is where the game will take place on April 15. It only lasted a few microseconds, which was too short compared to usual.
By triangulating the signal, scientists noticed that the signal anomaly occurred in the Sculptor’s Galaxy (NGC 253) about 12 million light-years away, along the direction of the constellation of the same name. Right in the Milky Way. Although everything is pointed at the magnet, the trigger that produces the flare is still disturbing.
How are magnetars formed?
When the core of a star explodes during a supernova explosion, and its remaining mass is approximately the mass of the sun, all of this is compressed to a diameter of about 20 kilometers, forming a very dense neutron star. Not only the dough is preserved. The same is the magnetic field, and in the same way that the density increases, the magnetic field strength is also the same, magnified up to ten billion times.
After the birth of the magnetar, its surface began to cool to several million Kelvin. A solid lattice of neutrons, electrons and atomic nuclei is sufficient. When a star rotates, an electric current is induced, which causes the surface crust to vibrate, causing the star to quake and form cracks in it.
On the other hand, its interior is distributed like an onion layer. Each of them has a different rotation, which causes each layer to generate a magnetic field. This makes it easier for them to interfere with each other, and some of them make the interior of the magnetar unstable.
With these, if a crack appears near the magnetic pole and internal instability occurs, a large amount of plasma will be emitted together with electrons and positrons, and all plasma will travel in a narrow beam at a speed close to the speed of light. Like a beacon, if it has ever swept the earth, it can explain those short but intense gamma-ray bursts.
Theoretically, these outbreaks are known. However, at the experimental level, there are few data. So far, the flashes produced by the detected detectors are so bright that they saturate the detectors and even put some spacecraft into “safe mode”, preventing astronomers from studying the situation after the explosion.
Solutions for measuring magnetic explosions
In 1992, astrophysicists Chris Thompson and Robert Duncan and Bohdan Paczyński each devised a method to detect these very short-lived explosions. They considered the first ten seconds of the neutron star’s life after the supernova was created. This star is too hot and its interior will melt. Its rotation speed is extremely fast, rotating once every few milliseconds, which generates such a strong magnetic field. The magnetar was born.
In theory, a strong magnetic field should play a role in preventing the rotation of a star. In thousands of years, its speed will gradually decrease, if we measure in seconds, this kind of braking is understandable. Scientist Chryssa Kouveliotou set out to record this deceleration in real time. He analyzed the possible magnetar action for three years and was able to measure this deceleration in 1998. He quantified it in hundredths of a second, thus proving the hypothesis of Duncan, Thompson, and Pachinsky. This is the first experimental evidence to support the existence of a magnetar.
Finally, the ideal explosion arrived
Scientists had to wait for the explosion of an electromagnet that was close but not too close, so that its ejection could not be measured. They waited patiently for the ejection on April 15, 2020. When the huge flare arrived, Hurley and his team calculated the intensity of the flare. It is estimated that the brightness of about 100,000 years from the sun is released in a few milliseconds.
The explosion will occur near one of the poles of the magnetic pole, and a second gamma ray will be detected 19 seconds after the main event. The possible explanation is that part of the ejected plasma collided with the distant gas layer surrounding the star, causing the second explosion.
In search of an ancient magnetar
After characterizing this burst, scientists are looking for similar events in the catalog of gamma-ray bursts. They found something that seemed to come from near our Milky Way galaxy, and found that these jets should be more than any type of supernova, and about 1,000 times more than other rare transient events (such as neutron star mergers). In short, everything shows that they are common, but the reality is that they are hard to find.
Antonio Pérez Verde is the author of the blog Astrology. More text here.