The irresistible pull - when massive stars collide

A simulation marking the birth of a magnetic star such as Tau Scorpii. The image

A simulation marking the birth of a magnetic star such as Tau Scorpii. The image is a cut through the orbital plane where the colouring indicates the strength of the magnetic field and the hatching represents its field lines. Credit: Ohlmann/Schneider/Röpke

All neutron stars are magnetic, but some are more magnetic than others. The latter, so-called magnetars, are the strongest magnets in the Universe. How do these massive stars acquire their large magnetic field? A team of astrophysicists from Germany and the UK may now have solved the more than 70-year-old conundrum of the origin of strong magnetic fields in massive stars. 


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