|A neutron star with a gigantic magnetic field is known as a magnetar, where even at a distance from Earth to Moon a human's flesh would be ripped apart from the magnetism|
|The Earths magnetic field, which deflects compass needles||measured at the N magnetic pole|
|A common, hand-held magnet||like those used to stick papers on a refrigerator||100 Gauss|
|The magnetic field in strong sunspots||(within dark, magnetized areas on the solar surface)||4000 Gauss|
|The strongest, sustained (i.e., steady) magnetic fields achieved so far in the laboratory||generated by hulking huge electromagnets||4.5 X 105 Gauss (45 tesla)|
|The strongest man-made fields ever achieved, if only briefly||made using focused explosive charges; lasted only 4 - 8 microseconds.||107 Gauss|
|The strongest fields ever detected on non-neutron stars||found on a handful of strongly-magnetized, compact white dwarf stars. (Such stars are rare. Only 3% of white dwarfs have Mega-gauss or stronger fields.)||108 Gauss|
|Typical surface, polar magnetic fields of radio pulsars||the most familiar kind of neutron star; more than a thousand are known to astronomers|
|Magnetars||soft gamma repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars |
(These are surface, polar fields. Magnetar interior fields may range up to 1016 Gauss, with field lines probably wrapped in a toroidal, or donut geometry inside the star.)
Possible Birth of a Magnetar--
1) A star is born that is between 4-8x the mass of the Sun
2) The star lives its life and then dies, going supernova, and forms into a super-dense neutron star
3) The neutron star often has a companion orbiting star, and due to its own super-high gravitational attractions, it devours it slowly
4) As the neutron star devours its orbiting star companion, there is a chance the neutron star begins spinning due to the angles and orbit of the companion star, turning the neutron star into a pulsar
5) For various possible reasons, the pulsar suffers energy loss and eventually slows down in its near-light-speed spinning, giving birth to a magnetar. The pulsar's own untamable magnetic energies cause the metals on its outer crust to explode, resulting in the tell-tale gamma and x-ray bursts that indicate this particular pulsar is actually a magnetar
Unfortunately, astronomers could all be dead wrong about all three of these stars since virtually nothing is known about neutron stars, pulsars and magnetars except some basic methods of observation from light wavelengths, radio transmissions and other means of observation that are unfortunately, difficult to use and limited.
BUT HOW? While the machinations behind the magnetar are basically unknown, their magnetic field gives rise to very strong and characteristic bursts of X-rays and gamma rays, so even though they are extremely rare, when an astronomer finally comes across a magnetar, it's easy to tell what it is. Finding one though is just plain hard, either because they are so rare (just aren't many) or perhaps due to other factors, such as where it may be more common for one to form (globular star clusters are thought to be their formation grounds). Neutron stars are the only stars with a solid surface crust, which is about 6/10th's of a mile deep and covers a thick fluid of neutrons (neutronium) over either a superfluid or a solid core of subatomic particles. The star's surface probably has a chunk of metal like iron that is magnetizable, where this metal would feel a force equal to 150,000,000x the Earth's gravitational pull on it. This means that while the Earth has a 32.2 ft/s2 gravitational "pull," that's 4,830,000,000 ft/s2 for a magnetar. It is precisely those movements of that strong magnetic field on the crust that wrinkles the crust, causing star quakes that would be the source of the soft gamma-ray bursts. This is how we can even know from so far away that a magnetar differs even at all to other neutron stars- the magnetism causes cataclysmic quakes so powerful that the crust crinkles up with such force an explosion of light of many orders of magnitude greater luminosity than the star itself become visible at truly staggering distances. Isn't it enough that the star itself is millions of degrees, has more gravity than 8 Suns and shines brighter than most stars? Nope, that's not good enough for God and his grand creation. Magnetars simply must stand out even more, with explosions so bright that the star itself seems dim by comparison during the explosions of gamma and x rays.
However, they are still hard to find, for not only do we simply not know very much about them, the active life of a magnetar is very short, as their magnetic fields decay after about 10,000 years. Even if many live as long as the typical neutron star, their characteristic light bursts from their magnetic fields only last a very short while, making their unique light wavelengths only visible to telescopes for brief periods of time before their unique light fades.