Astronomers are Using NASA’s Deep Space Network to Hunt for Magnetars

Universe Today | 3/4/2019 | Staff
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Right, magnetars. Perhaps one of the most ferocious beasts to inhabit the cosmos. Loud, unruly, and temperamental, they blast their host galaxies with wave after wave of electromagnetic radiation, running the gamut from soft radio waves to hard X-rays. They are rare and poorly understood.

Some of these magnetars spit out a lot of radio waves, and frequently. The perfect way to observe them would be to have a network of high-quality radio dishes across the world, all continuously observing to capture every bleep and bloop. Some sort of network of deep-space dishes.

NASA - Deep - Space - Network

Like NASA’s Deep Space Network.

Magnetars are almost too unreal to believe. The description you’re about to read might seem too fantastical and violent to possibly exist in our universe. But oh, my sweet summer child, never underestimate the intensity of mother nature.

Imagine - Times - Mass - Sun - Space

Imagine an object several times the mass of the sun, squeezed into a space no bigger than a small midwestern town. And that already-exotic object is spinning, rapidly, in some cases faster than a kitchen blender. Like I said, almost too unreal to be believable.

These particular objects are a kind of pulsar, and pulsars themselves are exotic dead remnants of giant stars. In the final moments of a massive star’s death, the entire weight of the star crushes inwards with nothing to resist it – with no nuclear fire burning in its core, there’s nothing left to keep the precious equilibrium that maintains a star for eons. Over the span of just a few minutes, the intense pressures squeeze the core smaller and smaller and smaller, converting all the protons into neutrons and forging a pulsar in the process.

Cinder - Physics - Heat - Radiation - Degeneracy

This stellar cinder isn’t supported by the usual physics like heat and radiation, but instead by quantum degeneracy pressure – the simple refusal of neutrons to occupy the same...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Universe Today
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