Magnetars are the bizarre super-dense remnants of supernova explosions. They are the strongest magnets known in the Universe — millions of times more powerful than the strongest magnets on Earth. A team of European astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) now believe they’ve found the partner star of a magnetar for the first time. This discovery helps to explain how magnetars form — a conundrum dating back 35 years — and why this particular star didn’t collapse into a black hole as astronomers would expect.
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Space Scoop - the children's version of this release is available at: http://www.eso.org/public/ireland/news/eso1415/kids/
The ESO Education and Public Outreach Department
14 May 2014
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