The Westerlund star cluster as taken by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile (Image: ESO)
An artist's impression of the magnetar in the Westerlund 1 star cluster (Image: ESO/L. Calçada)
Magnetars are extremely dense and highly magnetic neutron stars that can form when a star goes supernova. They are extremely rare, and until now, it has been difficult to determine how and why they form. However, thanks to new data collected by the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, astronomers believe they have finally solved the great mystery.
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