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The Ancient Solar System...

The Cosmic Zoo, part 1: Journey to a magnetar...

2 Apr 2016, 21:54 UTC
The Cosmic Zoo, part 1: Journey to a magnetar...
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In comics Thor's hammer was forged in the heart of a star. But a magic hammer is pretty tame compared to some of the things that really get forged in the heart of a star.  Above: If you'd like one, this is how. Neutron stars are one of the things the core of a star can become when it goes supernova: The star runs out of fuel, and the outer layers collapse, heating up to incredible temperatures and bouncing off the core itself. The core is subjected to indescribable temperatures and pressures, and is turned into what is basically an 11km wide atomic nucleus, spinning at about 15% of lightspeed**. Above: An infographic showing the surfce and composition of a neutron star.The gravity at the surface is hundreds of thousands of times stronger than Earth's. Time would slow down significantly, thanks to gravity and rapid speed. Land there and you'd literally be crushed by the weight of your own hair.And that's just an ordinary, bog standard, neutron star. There're stranger beasts out there.... Magnetars:This is what happens when a supernova goes wrong: As the neutron star forms the energy of the supernova goes straight into charging its magnetic field (the same mecanism ...

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