Dying Star Gets Cranky, Lashes Out At Universe
The New York Times Article about it today goes on to describe this little remnant of a neutron star as less than 15 miles in diameter yet 1.5 times our own sun's mass. I love this stuff. Way better than reading about Richard Hoagland, that loony toon who still claims there's a face on Mars (along with the requisite NASA cover-up).
This little star, although it is apparently a little slow by neutron-star standards, is spinning so fast that in the time it takes you to read this sentence it will have completed yet another full rotation on it's axis. That's 7.5 seconds for a full "day". Time flies when you're a dying star. Anyway, I did a little math and it appears that the surface of this mite is moving at about 20,000 miles per hour. No wonder it's a little edgy!
It has this amazingly powerful magnetic field that could, say from the distance of Mars, wipe all the info off your credit cards. Not to mention how it would affect Modest Mouse on your I-pod.
It's a rare breed called a Magnetar. Now that's good. Magnetar's good friends Gundam and Godzilla say they've seen him flare up a few times before, but never like this. "He usually saves that kind of a display for the furtherance of good," added his Superfriends Academy classmate Evangelion, "but sometimes you just have to blow off a little steam. I hope Magnetar's feeling better."
Pokemon and Microman could not be reached for comment.
This story says this epic gamma ray blast happened "just across the Milky Way from Earth". I like that, too. Just a hop, skip, and a jump through deep space. It would take 50,000 years to get there at the speed of light but it sounds as if you could take the back way and get a cup of sugar for that cake you're baking. Or a Gatorade for weathering your binge. Just be a minute.
In fact, the time element is always fun in stories like this. The reportage quite naturally says the blast occured when it was observed, you know, in December, when in fact it was 150,000 years ago. ("And in other news, Napoleon Bonaparte has taken Moscow. Nobody was there so he's coming back before it gets too cold.")