Dec. 26, 2021

An international group of researchers has succeeded in measuring for the first time the characteristics of a flare on a distant magnetar.


  • A magnetar is a rare compact type of neutron star teeming with energy and magnetism.

  • The magnetar they have studied is about 13 million light years away, in the direction of the NGC 253, a prominent galaxy in the Sculptor group of galaxies.

  • The flare, which spewed within a few tenths of a second as much energy as the Sun would shed in 100,000 years, was captured accidentally on April 15, 2020, by the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor instrument (ASIM) of the International Space Station.

  • This is the first study to characterise such a flare from so distant a magnetar.

  • Magnetars are relatively rare objects, with only about thirty having been spotted within the Milky Way so far. The present magnetar is only the second one to be studied which is located outside the galaxy and is also the furthest, at 13 million light years distance.

Source : The Hindu