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Q&A: Supernova Remnants and Neutron Stars

Q:
Does Chandra register something about the Magnetars?

A:
Magnetars are a name given to some neutron stars that may have very strong magnetic fields, about 100 trillion times as strong as the Earth's magnetic field. These fields are postulated to explain some of the properties of two groups of neutron stars called "soft gamma-ray repeaters" -- because they have repeated gamma ray bursts unlike the strong gamma-ray bursts, and "anomalous X-ray pulsars" -- because they seem to be rotating too slowly to produce the observed energy output. Other explanations are possible, so this magnetar hypothesis is still controversial. Anyway, Chandra has observed a half dozen or so of these objects (see list, below), but the mystery still remains. Stay tuned to our web site for further developments.

N49B
SGR 1627-41
4U 0142+61
SGR1900+14
1E 2259+586
Kes 73 1E 1841-045
SGR 0526-66

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