How the strongest magnets of the universe are formed
The study suggests that the turbulence created by the collision of two stars could lead to the formation of stars with strong magnetic fields.
The magnets that are found on the earth or the magnetic field of the sun or the earth is very small in comparison to magnetars. Magnetars are a type of neutron star that possess a very high magnetic field.
These celestial bodies are the results of the collision of stars and are formed during the subsequent stages. Scientists have unearthed the reason behind the strong magnetic field found in these bodies.
"Magnetars are thought to have the strongest magnetic fields in the Universe – up to one hundred million times stronger than the strongest magnetic field ever produced by humans," says astrophysicist Friedrich Röpke, from the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies in Germany.
How are they formed?
A study published in Nature details the study and the process of formation of these bodies. Scientists have created a large and complex simulation to show how the collision of two stars can produce a massive star with a strong magnetic field.
Stars grow old to become supernovas and then end up as a magnetic neutron star also called magnetar. A supernova is a powerful and luminous stellar explosion.
Scientists applied the computer modelling to one of the known magnetics star Tau Scorpii. Tau Scorpii lies 500-light years from the earth and is 15 times heavier than our sun.
The study suggests that the turbulence created by the collision of two stars could lead to the formation of stars with strong magnetic fields like Tau Scorpii.
Why are they difficult to detect?
Magnetars are expected to be the final stage of a supernova explosion. They are difficult to spot as their life span is very short. The magnetic study of a magnetar can last a few hours.
How do they form?
Two stars colliding with each other to form a supernova, neutron star and black holes are frequently seen in our universe. These collisions are responsible for 10 per cent of the existing massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Out of these, there are about 1 in 10 stars with powerful magnetic capabilities.
The idea of the existence of stars with powerful magnetic field was established in 1947.
Why were we not able to detect these magnetars before?
"Until now, we weren't able to test this hypothesis because we didn't have the necessary computational tools," says astrophysicist Sebastian Ohlmann, from the Max Planck Society in Germany.
Scientist says that there are a lot more of these massive magnetic stars to be found.