“Hey guys! This is a very attractive pay about something called starquakes. What’s that? Discover in this article how dangerous this earth-like phenomenon could be!”
We all have heard about quakes- earthquakes, which are caused due to sudden uneven disturbances in the tectonic plates below the crust.
But starquakes? Do stars too have tectonic plates? Can we say that a Richter scale would make some sense in measuring such “disturbances”?
It is a fresh and exciting space topic in various space labs who are trying to understand about the reasons to the anonymous effects caused by different stars(million light years far). A starquake is a term used for energy-emitting star explosions.
Scientists are still learning about starquakes, but one in particular stands out: the massive quake observed 50,000 light years away in the neutron star known as SGR 1806-20, back in December 2004. Neutron stars like that one are the leftovers of a huge star caving in on itself at the end of its life, so they’re extremely dense with a strong gravitational pull. Although the stars themselves are small enough to fit in a medium-sized city, a teaspoonful of neutron star matter would weigh at least a billion tons on Earth!!
When the starquake on SGR 1806-20 happened, it released a flash of energy lasting about a tenth of a second but adding up to “more energy than the Sun emits in 150,000 years”. The flash was brighter than anything ever seen from beyond our solar system.
But why did it happen in the first place? Scientists believe it was caused by an abrupt change in the star’s magnetic field. A neutron star’s intense magnetic field is locked to its solid crust, so a change in one leads to a change in the other—meaning all of that incredibly dense matter went crack. The result? A massive starquake!
That day was an unforgettable one. Scientists also inform about their ongoing researches upon some unusual activities going on in the space due to powerful magnetic fields of tiny but superstrong stars called magnetars.
X Rays- in Space Research
The data taken during starquakes like the SGR 1806-20 allows scientists to measure light waves they wouldn’t be able to observe otherwise. “Astronomers use light of all wavelengths to understand the nature of the universe.” X-ray astronomers, though, specifically focus on that one part of the electromagnetic spectrum to take measurements of celestial bodies.
“Regions that glow in X-rays range from the largest objects in the Universe that are held together by gravity, called galaxy clusters, to the most compact objects, like black holes and neutron stars.” X-rays allow scientists to learn more about what might make up the inside of the neutron stars they’re measuring, and how thick the crust might be, based on the waves emitted.
Scientists continue to turn to X-rays to advance knowledge about neutron stars. In fact, in June 2017, NASA announced the first neutron star mission, called NICER. It’ll include what they’re calling “the world’s first demonstration of X-ray navigation in space.” For 18 months, a payload attached to the International Space Station and made of X-ray mirrors will closely observe neutron stars for starquakes and other phenomena such as thermonuclear explosions. NASA says they even hope to learn about the possibility of X-ray communications during this mission, which would be helpful in future space exploration.
“Such amazing things in space? Wow! The Comments box is open for reviewing live! Thanks for reading”.
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