The most magnetic massive star seen yet is dragging a giant cloak of trapped charged particles around it.
Image: An artist’s interpretation of a magnetar. Credit: ESA - Christophe Carreau
This newly discovered star, NGC 1624-2, could help shed light on what role the magnetism of stars plays in the evolution of stars and their galaxies.
NGC 1624-2, which lies about 20,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Perseus, has about 35 times the sun’s mass. Its hefty mass gives it plenty of fuel, making it bright and hot and thus likely to burn out relatively quickly after a lifetime of about 5 million years, or one-tenth of 1 percent of the sun’s current age at midlife.