Scientists discover energy blades capable of cutting stars in half
The radiation of a magnetar, amplified by its own powerful magnetic field, can break through its core and literally tear such a star in half.
This is stated in a study by scientists from the University of New York, which is published on the arXiv preprint site. According to Futurism, the discovery was made when the authors of the paper tried to understand the origin of gamma-ray bursts, which can be caused by black holes and magnetars (neutron stars with a powerful magnetic field).
When massive stars run out of fuel, they undergo the most amazing metamorphoses. The completion of nuclear reactions in the heart of the star leads to a collapse, which results in the formation of a supernova. Subsequently, as a result of a process that scientists still do not fully understand, the remnants of the core can turn into a black hole or a very dense neutron star.
By studying these processes, scientists have discovered a rather strange phenomenon that can result from the collapse of a massive star's core: powerful forces inside a certain type of neutron star can break free and cut the space object like a blade, emitting intense bursts of radiation.
During their work, the researchers created simulations of the forces inside a magnetar. Such a star has magnetic fields that are significantly stronger than those of a normal neutron star, and also incredibly stronger than weak magnetic fields such as our Earth's magnetic field.
Looking for a likely source of the gamma-ray bursts, they found that the magnetar's radiation, enhanced by the magnetic fields, is able to penetrate its dense stellar interior and essentially cut the star in half. The researchers called this intense beam of energy a relativistic blade.
The scientists noted that such a blade of radiation shoots out over a certain distance and may explain the observation of some gamma-ray bursts that last longer than normal, flaring up and fading away in a matter of seconds.
Scientists plan to continue studying these relativistic blades, hoping to deepen knowledge of some of the most violent and exotic physical phenomena in the universe.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA reported that scientists have discovered a magnetar at a distance of 15,000 light years from the Earth that has been emitting radio waves for 30 years, although it should have been doing so for a maximum of several years.