NASA / SWIFT / JULES HALPERN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SWIFT / JULES HALPERN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Soft gamma-ray repeater X-ray halo. Image showing the X-ray halo around soft gamma-ray repeater SGR J1550-5418, located about 30,000 light years away in the constellation Norma. This X-ray source and became active in 2008 and 2009. It has been observed to emit intense bursts of gamma rays at a rate of up to several per minute. The most intense flares equal the total energy emission of the Sun in about 20 years. The underlying object is believed to be a magnetar, a type of rotating neutron star with an intense magnetic field. Image data obtained by the X-Ray Telescope on board NASA's Swift satellite.
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