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Weird Object: Magnetar SGR 1806-20

No. 17: Powerful Enough to Affect the Universe

RELATED TOPICS: WEIRDEST OBJECTS | MAGNETARS
RunHide
YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE.  A December 27, 2004, gamma-ray flare expands from SGR 1806–20 and eventually impacts Earth’s atmosphere in this illustrated conception. 
NASA

The nuclear furnaces in the Sun and stars create blistering heat and blinding light. Magnetism, however, plays no role in the fusion process that converts their mass to energy. Thus, a major magnetic field would seem like coleslaw at a picnic — nice but unnecessary, and certainly irrelevant in the energy big leagues. 

At least that’s how it always appeared. Not any more. Recently, researchers have found that neutron stars, already among the all-time weirdest objects, can be wrapped in magnetic fields brawny enough to affect the rest of the universe. 

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