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Evidence Found for Magnetars

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2002
The mysterious stellar objects known as anomalous x-ray pulsars can put out x-ray luminosities that are orders of magnitude larger than what should be produced by their rotational energy loss. One of the most popular theories for this is that the pulsars are neutron stars with surface magnetic fields greater than 1014 G, known as magnetars.

Using the Palomar Observatory 5-m Hale telescope, researchers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have found what they believe is evidence to support this theory. They say that the morphology of radiation from the pulsar labeled 4U0142+61 excludes two other popular theories. Also, the morphology closely matches the patterns of young isolated radio pulsars, which are believed to be similar to magnetars. The research can be found in the May 30 issue of Nature.


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