A magnetar eruption detected by the ISS: the equivalent of 100,000 years of energy from our sun

ASIM (Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor), a scientific instrument located on the International Space Station, detected several months ago the eruption of a magnetar, these neutron stars whose magnetic fields are at least a thousand times more powerful than those of “classical neutron stars” ”, Themselves of an incredible density (up to 2.5 solar masses in a sphere of only 20 km in diameter). This magnetar eruption phenomenon is not that rare in the universe, but it is much more rarely observed.


Recall here that neutron stars are old massive stars at the end of their existence, whose core collapsed under the effect of an extreme gravitational force. The data captured by ASIM on April 15, 2021 was analyzed by a team of astrophysicists from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia of the Spanish Council and they concluded that the on-board instrument had detected the eruption. of a magnetar. This is great news for the scientific community: only about 30 magnetars have been detected so far, and that of April 15 is the furthest from our solar system at about 13 million light years from Earth, at Heart of the Sculptor Galaxy.

Scientists were thus able to establish that the magnetar had released, in a tenth of a second, the same energy as the sun … in 100,000 years! Scales of measurement and intensity that are difficult to conceptualize by a human brain …

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