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You are here News Science Behold the Magnetar, nature’s ultimate superweapon

Behold the Magnetar, nature’s ultimate superweapon

Magnetar, nature's ultimate weapon

If you think black holes are the scariest things in the Universe, I have something to share with you.

There are balls of dead matter no bigger than a city yet shining a hundred times brighter than the Sun that send out flares of X-rays visible across the galaxy. Their interiors are made of superfluid subatomic particles, and they have cores of exotic and unknown states of matter. Their lifetime is only a few thousand years.

And here's the best part: They have the strongest magnetic fields ever observed, so strong they can melt you—literally dissociate you down to the atomic level—from a thousand kilometers away.

These are the magnetars, perhaps the most fearsome entities ever known.

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