What is a Magnetar?
A magnetar is a type of neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field, the decay of which powers the emission of high-energy electromagnetic radiation, particularly X-rays and gamma rays.1
On March 5, 1979, several months after dropping probes into the toxic atmosphere of Venus, two Soviet spacecraft, Venera 11 and 12, were drifting through the inner solar system on an elliptical orbit. It had been an uneventful cruise. The radiation readings on board both probes hovered around a nominal 100 counts per second. But at 10:51AM EST, a pulse of gamma radiation hit them. Within a fraction of a millisecond, the radiation level shot above 200,000 counts per second and quickly went off scale.
Eleven seconds later gamma rays swamped the NASA space probe Helios 2, also orbiting the sun. A plane wave front of high-energy radiation was evidently sweeping through the solar system. It soon reached Venus and saturated the Pioneer Venus Orbiter’s detector. Within seconds the gamma rays reached Earth. They flooded detectors on three U.S. Department of Defense Vela satellites, the Soviet Prognoz 7 satellite, and the Einstein Observatory. Finally, on its way out of the solar system, the wave also blitzed the International Sun-Earth Explorer.
The pulse of highly energetic, or “hard,” gamma rays was 100 times as intense as any previous burst of gamma rays detected from beyond the solar system, and it lasted just two tenths of a second. At the time, nobody noticed; life continued calmly beneath our planet’s protective atmosphere. Fortunately, all 10 spacecraft survived the trauma without permanent damage. The hard pulse was followed by a fainter glow of lower-energy, or “soft,” gamma rays, as well as x-rays, which steadily faded over the subsequent three minutes. As it faded away, the signal oscillated gently, with a period of eight seconds. Fourteen and a half hours later, at 1:17AM on March 6, another, fainter burst of x-rays came from the same spot on the sky. Over the ensuing four years, Evgeny P. Mazets of the Ioffe Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, and his collaborators detected 16 bursts coming from the same direction. They varied in intensity, but all were fainter and shorter than the March 5 burst.
Astronomers had never seen anything like this. For want of a better idea, they initially listed these bursts in catalogues alongside the better-known gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), even though they clearly differed in several ways. In the mid-1980s Kevin C. Hurley of the University of California at Berkeley realized that similar outbursts were coming from two other areas of the sky. Evidently these sources were all repeating unlike GRBs, which are one-shot events [see “The Brightest Explosions in the Universe,” by Neil Gehrels, Luigi Piro and Peter J. T. Leonard; Scientific American, December 2002]. At a July 1986 meeting in Toulouse, France, astronomers agreed on the approximate locations of the three sources and dubbed them “soft gamma repeaters” (SGRs). The alphabet soup of astronomy had gained a new ingredient.
Another seven years passed before two of us (Duncan and Thompson) devised an explanation for these strange objects, and only in 1998 did one of us (Kouveliotou) and her team find remains of a star that exploded 5,000 years ago. Unless this overlap was pure coincidence, it put the source 1,000 times as far away as theorists had thought—and thus made it a million times brighter than the Eddington limit. In 0.2 second the March 1979 event released as much energy as the sun radiates in roughly 10,000 years, and it concentrated that energy in gamma rays rather than spreading it across the electromagnetic spectrum.2
About 26 magnetars are known (see here).
Oregon Contra Luz Opal with botryoidal Jasper inclusions, from Oregon
i want there to be an angel that descends from the heavens only when someone is being stupid
and the angel just gently places their hand over the person’s mouth
and whispers in a voice filled with heavenly beauty and love
LOOK IT UP
IM SCREECHING LOOK LOOK AT THE ART LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS OH MY GOSH <33333333333
(chuckle) Loving this to bits.
i love this more then i really should
JESUS CHRIST WHY ARE WASPS HIGHER ON THE LIST THAN PRISONERS
PRISONERS AT LEAST HAVE THE CAPACITY TO SIT POLITELY AND CONGRATULATE YOU WASPS ARE THE PHYSICAL INCARNATION OF METATRON’S DICK FUCKING YOU IN THE ASS WITH NO LUBE
PHYSICAL INCARNATION OF METATRON’S DICK FUCKING YOU IN THE ASS WITH NO LUBE
I cannot even….
Me when someone ain’t being cool to my bros.
This is the honey badger, the most fearless animal in nature. It really doesn’t give a shit.
If I ever tell you I’m going to sleep and then you see me posting or liking things online for about an hour immediately after that, I promise I wasn’t lying to you, I’m just bad at going to sleep and it is usually a long process that begins with disengaging from any sort of immediate contact with people (chats, for example) and ends when everything on my screen is blurry and I’m hallucinating plot points I haven’t written yet
Here are some awesome and empowering quotes from several very strong female celebrities.
And Kristen Stewart.
No, you know what? Fuck you.
Let me tell you about Kristen Stewart.
Let’s talk about how she’s the centerpiece of one of the most inexplicably popular misogynistic pieces of film shit and somehow gets blamed for it sucking, despite the fact that, hey, the books were actually worse. For those who were lucky enough to escape reading the actual books, her apparent lack of emotion is 100% accurate to Bella’s character, because Bella is in fact not a character but a blank white wall for fourteen-year-old girls to project themselves onto. Robert Pattinson is not the only one in the cast who hates Twilight, thank you.
Let’s talk about how she got crucified in the media for having an affair with a married man, when that man was her director. And let’s remember that she was called all manner of things for “ruining her relationship with RPattz” when she wasn’t even engaged to the dude, let alone married with kids. But oh no, she gets called a slut because she’s Kristen Stewart, she gets her career fucked because she’s Kristen Stewart, and the dude gets off scott free.
Let’s talk about how she is incredibly shy and anxious (rather, incidentally, like Chris Evans) but does film anyway, because she’s just that awesome.
Fuck your noise. She’s not the best actor in the world but she sure as hell doesn’t deserve that kind of shit.
THANK YOU. Don’t care who she played, she’s still a fucking human being. And once she gets handed a role not tailor made to make her look like a mannequin, you are going to see her shine in ways that are going to make you UNCOMFORTABLE THAT YOU HATED HER SO MUCH.
God dammit. Why am I so defensive of her?
straight white people have the most privilege in this world and that is a fact that is non negotiable and if you try and say heterophobia and discrimination against white people is a problem in our society i will just laugh at you
belittling one group does not lead to the liberation of another.
cat forgets she’s sticking her tongue out [x]