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  • Hello there.

  • This RealLifeLore video is made possible by Brilliant.org.

  • Stay tuned for an exclusive Brilliant offer available only for RealLifeLore viewers, at the end of this video.

  • The universe is full of weird, scary, awesome, and interesting things.

  • I've made several videos already on topics like black holes, the size of the universe, and interstellar travel, which you can watch later.

  • But neutron stars and their even weirder twins called magnetars,

  • Are possibly even weirder, scarier, and more interesting than anything else I've discussed so far.

  • First, the basics.

  • Neutron stars and magnetars are the same objects with one major difference.

  • And they are born the same way

  • From the death of a large star somewhere between 10-29x the mass of our Sun.

  • When a star of this enormous size dies, after fusion in its core is no longer possible, the result is a brilliant supernova explosion.

  • The core of the star, no longer supported by the outward pressure generated by fusion, rapidly collapses from the enormous inward pressure of gravity.

  • Electrons and protons are forced so close together that they fuse to become neutrons, resulting in an unimaginably dense ball made

  • made almost entirely of neutrons with the mass of 1 to 2 Suns, that is only 20km across. Which is like crushing 2 entire suns down to the size of Manhattan.

  • They're so densely packed together that just a thimble full of neutron star material would have the mass of 100 million tons.

  • Which is roughly the same as 15 Great Pyramids of Giza or 70 million Toyota Corollas all condensed into a space the size of a thimble.

  • Neutron stars also rotate incredibly quickly after they're formed, and the quickest one ever yet to discovered is called PSR J1748-2446AD

  • Which rotates 716 times every second or about 24% of the speed of light at the surface.

  • While all of this sounds pretty extreme already,

  • A small percentage of neutron stars are born as even more extreme objects called magnetars.

  • All neutron stars have incredibly powerful magnetic fields.

  • Usually 2 trillion times more powerful than the magnetic field that you're currently experiencing on the Earth's surface.

  • But magnetars have a magnetic field 1000 times more powerful than even that is. This makes magnetars the most powerful magnets in the known universe

  • And weird things begin to happen if you get too close to one...

  • Remembering that these objects are only the size of Manhattan,

  • if one was a distance of 160 000 km away, the magnetic field

  • would be powerful enough to strip all the information of all the credit cards on Earth.

  • If you personally got too close to a magnetar,

  • very bad things would happen.

  • If you somehow got to within 1000 km of a magnetar

  • The magnetic field would be so strong

  • that it would begin to warped your entire body down at the atomic level.

  • Your very atoms will begin to get stretched into very thin rod-like shapes

  • which would render normal molecular chemistry impossible.

  • And your body would have essentially be dissolve and torn apart

  • down to the atomic level

  • as the atoms that make up your body would be transformed.

  • Magnetars can also be prone to a phenomenon known as starquakes

  • which are just like earthquakes but on a star.

  • The crust of a magnetar made out of neutrons

  • can crack just like tectonic plates do here on Earth.

  • These cracks are likely only micrometers long.

  • But when they happen,

  • the magnetar releases a truly gargantuan blast of radiation

  • that we can observe from the other side of the galaxy.

  • The most powerful of these starquakes ever observed

  • was from a magentar called SGR 1806-20,

  • about 50 000 light years away from us.

  • In 2004, the radiation from the explosion caused by this starquake reached earth.

  • And it was the brightest event that originated outside of the Solar System

  • known to have ever been witnessed by humans.

  • It is believed to also be the largest explosion observed in our galaxy

  • since the 1604 Supernova that was observed by Johannes Kepler.

  • In just 1/10 of a second, this starquake released more energy than the Sun

  • has released in the past 100 000 years.

  • The effects on Earth were very minor.

  • But if this had happened to a magnetar that was 10 light years away from us instead,

  • the effects would be far more severe.

  • It would be enough to totally destroy the Earth's ozone layer.

  • And also destroy most of the planet surface.

  • Life on Earth would almost be totally destroyed.

  • And we would not know that it was coming until it hit us

  • Luckily for us however, the closest discovered magnetar to Earth is 9 000 light years away.

  • As scary as magnetars are, we can thankfully remain more fascinated by them instead at a save distance away.

  • For now.... (Dun dun dun!)

  • If you still have questions that you like answered about neutron stars, how stars die

  • Or anything else about our strange and beautiful universe

  • Then you should know that this video was directly based off a section

  • in the astronomy course offered at Brilliant.org

  • Brilliant is an online learning platform where you can learn about math and science in an easily approachable way

  • By solving fun and challenging problems.

  • I have been spending a lot of time going through their astronomy course lately

  • And they have a section that is completely devoted to the life cycle of stars that inspired the creation of this video.

  • They teach you how to calculate what the mass of a teaspoon of neutron star material would be

  • And how neutron stars, white dwarfs and black holes are created in the first place.

  • The math in this course and the math behind the facts in the video that you just watched are the same.

  • So if you like to be able to do these calculations yourself,

  • why not go and give them a visit now that you are done watching

  • You can learn about astronomy and a vast amount of other subjects at

  • And best of all, Brilliant is offering a 3-day free trial exclusively to the viewers of this video.

  • This free trail is only available if you click on the brilliant.org/reallifelore

  • Link in the description of this video

  • So if you liked what you just watched and you're curious to learn more, you should give Brilliant a try.

  • It's completely free for three days and you will be supporting my channel at the same time.

  • Cheers

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What the Most Powerful Magnet in the Universe is Capable of: Magnetars Explained

  • 1 1
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/14
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