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CASS News

Magnetic mystery solved

Magnetars - stars with magnetic fields a thousand million million times stronger than Earth's - are formed when some of the biggest stars in the cosmos explode, says a team led by Australian ex-pat Bryan Gaensler of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The astronomers base their conclusions on a study made with CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array and Parkes radio telescope in eastern Australia.

"The source of these very powerful magnetic objects has been a mystery since the first one was discovered in 1998, says Gaensler. "Now we think we've nailed it."

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Added by Helen Sim on 2005-01-31

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