SUMMARY: A team of astronomers were lucky enough to observe the rare event of a neutron star turning into a magnetic object called a magnetar. Ten magnetars have been seen to date, but this object, a transient magnetar, is brand new. A normal neutron star is the rapidly spinning remnant of a star that went supernova; they typically possess a very strong magnetic field. A magnetar is similar, but it has a magnetic field up to 1,000 times as strong as a neutron star. This new discovery could indicate that magnetars are more common in the Universe than previously thought.
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