Astronomers have discovered powerful ultra-short radio signals hitting Earth from all directions. These fast radio bursts last just a millisecond, but carry as much energy as the sun emits in three days. Some scientists have linked these mysterious bursts to magnetars, the most powerful and dangerous magnets in the universe, whose effects on Earth can be traced back thousands of light years! So could they be the source of the radio signals scientists discovered this time?
In fact, there are also powerful magnets on Earth, but they are man-made. MIT engineers created the strongest superconducting magnet on Earth, which has a magnetic field of 20 Teslas, meaning that the field produced by MIT is 500,000 times stronger than the Earth's own magnetic field. Humans can't get near the device because the nervous system, heart and other organs might stop working, so magnetars are a terrifying danger 39bet-xì dách-phỏm miền bắc-tiến lên miền bắc-xóc đĩa-game bắn cá. But ministers are more complicated, strange objects that you can't see in the night sky, but whose rays might find you.
In 1979, NASA and Soviet spacecraft detected a powerful gamma-ray burst from deep space. Astronomers quickly found its source, and the object was hiding somewhere in Nebula N49. At first, astronomers thought it was the explosion of a normal neutron star left over from a supernova. A normal neutron star is an incredibly dense object, just 20 kilometers across, with a mass up to 1.5 times that of the sun and a magnetic field so strong that it can reach 100 billion teslas. But after comparing it to a normal neutron star, scientists found that the magnetic field of this magnetar is up to 1 trillion teslas, which is even scarier than a neutron star.
Meanwhile, the magnetar spins rapidly in two to 10 seconds, and its powerful magnetic field heats it to 18 million degrees Celsius, hotter than the core of the sun. However, magnetars do not emit light; they emit only X-rays and gamma rays. So far, scientists have observed the most powerful magnetar in the universe from afar, so could this discovery be near us? To do that, we need to know how magnetars form.
Logically, the unusually magnetic neutron star we found should have formed after a huge supernova exploded. This star has an unusually strong magnetic field, like the blue giant Orion, which weighs as much as 40 SUNS but has a magnetic field 1,000 times stronger. One day, the giant will explode, possibly leaving behind a highly magnetized neutron star. Scientists have calculated that the mysterious magnetar came from a star cluster 12,000 light-years from Earth, radiating X-rays through space.
The data calculated that a black hole should have formed after the supernova exploded, but scientists later realized that the site was once a binary star system. The magnetar's predecessor had been ejecting plasma from its partner for millions of years, thus causing friction of ionized particles, and then the supernova explosion pushed the second star away with such force that it essentially acted like a stellar cannonball, so only the magnetar was left.
According to scientists, some collisions of neutron stars can also lead to the formation of such strange objects. Fortunately, there are no magnetized blue giant stars or exotic binaries colliding within a 1,000-light year radius of Earth, but magnetostars don't have to get close enough to harm Earth, so how exactly do the universe's most powerful magnets affect us at such a distance? Magnetars don't affect Earth 100%, but when something happens on Magnetars, it can cause damage to Earth, even thousands of light years away.
In 2004, a sudden gamma-ray burst blinded several satellites and contracted Earth's magnetic field, just as it does during solar storms. That's because there's a magnetar on the other side of the galactic disk, 50,000 light years away. According to astrophysicists, it was caused by a powerful stellar earthquake. Due to the rapid rotation and fluctuations of the magnetic field, a surprisingly dense shell of neutrons on the magnetostar vibrates and moves, causing the crack, but what's even scarier is that humans won't even notice the crack because it's 50 times thinner than a human hair. However, this tiny stellar earthquake released a huge amount of energy.
The whole thing lasts just a tenth of a second, and that flash of light has as much energy as our sun emits in 150,000 years. Fortunately, we're still a long way from this magnetar. But there is no guarantee that a closer magnetar will appear later. No one knows for sure. Maybe the most powerful magnet in the universe is getting closer to us, or we are getting closer to it. If the 2004 gamma-ray burst had hit us at a distance of 10,000 light years, not 50,000 light years, it would have been a disaster. The Earth's weak magnetic field would not be able to resist the impact, and it would blow away the planet's ozone, exposing us to radiation.
If a magnetar were to affect us from a distance of 10 light years, Earth would be completely destroyed and Earth would burn up in gamma rays and become similar to Mars. If a stray magnetar flew into our solar system. In this case, you don't even need to break out. As it passes near the moon, its magnetic field will shut down all electronics on our planet and wipe data from all our hard drives. If we try to get close to it, then the human body and any other object will disintegrate, and the powerful magnetic field will separate the electrons from the atoms and turn them into dust. Fortunately, before we approach the magnetar, our nervous system's signals will be cut off, so no one will feel any pain.
Truth be told, humans would probably rather encounter a black hole than a magnetar. But as of 2022, we've only found 31 magnetars in space, which is far too few because strong magnetic fields don't last more than 10,000 years and fade, making magnetars very rare, even precious.