magnetars

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magnetars

(mag -nĕ-tarz) Highly magnetized neutron stars, thought to be responsible for soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). A surface magnetic field of up to 1011 tesla (several hundred times that of a radio pulsar) rapidly slows the star's rotation, causing starquakes that deposit enough energy into the surrounding gases to generate bursts of soft gamma radiation. The field also heats the rotating surface sufficiently for it to emit X-rays, but the rotation is usually too slow for the neutron star to act as a radio pulsar. A large fraction of all neutron stars may be magnetars.