Astronomers spot the fastest spinning magnetar ever seen


Far-off in the Milky Way galaxy, 21,000 light-years from Earth, astronomers have spotted the fastest-spinning magnetar (and possibly youngest, too) ever seen. And that’s just the start of what makes this star strange. 

Magnetars are a unique type of neutron stars, which are the collapsed cores of supergiant stars that died in supernova events. What sets magnetars apart from other neutron stars is that they possess extremely powerful magnetic fields — he most powerful ones in the known universe, in fact. They can also explode without warning and are fairly difficult to spot. In fact, before this object was discovered, there were only 30 known magnetars, compared to the thousands (approximately 3,000) known neutron stars. 

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