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Scientists discover a giant super-magnetic star

Last Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 17:17

New York: Scientists have discovered a new star that has a magnetic field 20,000 times stronger and a mass 35 times than that of the Sun.

The newly discovered star, NGC 1624-2 lies about 20,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Perseus and has about 35 times the sun`s mass, Space.Com reported.

This massive star possesses a magnetic field 20,000 times stronger than the sun`s and nearly 10 times stronger than that detected around any other high-mass star.

Its hefty mass gives it plenty of fuel, making it bright and hot and thus likely to burn out relatively quickly after a lifetime of about 5 million years, or one-tenth of 1 per cent of the sun`s current age at midlife.

The discovery is expected to shed light on what role the magnetism of stars plays in the evolution of stars and their galaxies.

"Magnetic fields of this strength are extremely rare they are only known to exist in a few other stars of much lower mass," study lead author Gregg Wade, an astronomer at the Royal Military College of Canada.

This powerful magnetic field binds and controls the stellar wind of energetic particles streaming from NGC 1624-2 "to a very large distance from the star - 11.4 times the star`s radius," Wade said.

"The huge volume of this magnetosphere is remarkable. It`s more than four times wider than that of any other comparable massive star, and in terms of volume it is around 80 times larger," Wade added.

"The magnetic field of NGC 1624-2 is about 20,000 gauss at the star`s surface. A typical magnetar might have a field on the order of 10 trillion gauss, so the strength of the magnetar`s field is much larger - that is, 500 million times larger," Wade said.

The findings were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


First Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 17:17
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