SUMMARY: Using the space-based XMM-Newton X-Ray observatory astronomers with the European Space Agency have made the first direct measurement of a neutron star's magnetic field. A neutron star is a very dense object with the mass of a large star packed into a radius of only 20-30 km, and they were predicted to have very strong magnetic fields which acted like a brake, slowing down their rotation. But after observing a neutron star called 1E1207.4-5209 for over 72 hours with the XMM, the astronomers discovered that it was 30 times weaker than they were predicting. What causes these objects to slow down is once again a mystery.
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