(Submitted February 30, 2010)
Is there any certainty of a magnetar's mass? And that they
are larger than neutron stars, just like how a smaller white
dwarf is more massive than a larger white dwarf? Except with
magnetars and normal neutron stars, a difference of 1 or 2
miles in diameter?
Thank you for your message. We've consulted Dr. Gavriil, a local
expert on magnetars. According to him:
Actually, we don't know why magnetars have such extraordinarily
strong magnetic fields, their defining characteristic. It is
true that one hypothesis states that they come from relatively
massive progenitors, and hence are more massive than the average
neutron stars. This is a reasonable theory, but there are others,
Since none of the known magnetars are in binary star systems,
we have not been able to measure their masses or radii.
Koji & Georgia
for "Ask an Astrophysicist"