The ‘Cosmic Monster’ star was spotted emitting as much energy and as many suns as one billion in one tenth second.

  • In the Sculptor galaxy, 13 million light-years away is the magnetar star
  • Scientists discovered that it was emitting as much as one billion suns.
  • This huge blast earned it the name of the “cosmic monster”. 

One magnetar star was spotted erupting violently and emitting as much energy in a fraction of a second as one million suns.

The star, also known as a cosmic monster,’ is approximately 13,000,000 light years from Earth in the Sculptor Group of galaxies.

According to University of Valencia researchers, the magnetic field released energy that was equivalent to the Sun’s in 100,000 years during the eruption.

Victor Reglero is co-author. It was a true cosmic monster.

A magnetar star has been spotted violently erupting and ejecting as much energy as one billion suns within a tenth of a second (artist's impression pictured)

The magnetar star, which is visible in the image above, has been seen erupting violently and emitting as much energy as one hundred million suns per second.

What does a magnetar do? 

Magnetars can be described as a kind of neutron star. This is an extremely dense object made up mainly of highly packed neutron. It forms when a huge star’s core collapses during supernovae.

Magnetars are distinguished from neutron stars by their magnetic fields, which is the strongest known in the universe. 

For context, the strength of our planet’s magnetic field has a value of about one Gauss, while a refrigerator magnet measures about 100 Gauss. 

Magnetars on the other side have magnetic fields around a million-billion Gauss. The data of all Earth’s credit cards would be erased if a magnetar were located at least six miles from the Moon.


Magnetars can be classified as a subcategory in neutron stars. These objects may contain half the Earth’s weight and have a diameter just 12.4 meters.

Although the objects are subject to violent eruptions that last less than a second it was difficult for them to be detected and studied.

Researchers used the AIM instrument aboard the International Space Station for the study of oscillations in brightness of GRB2001415 magnetar.

The team was able to track the duration and intensity of the eruption using this technique.

‘Even in an inactive state, magnetars can be one hundred thousand times more luminous than our Sun, but in the case of the flash that we have studied – the GRB2001415 – the energy released is equivalent to that radiated by our Sun in one hundred thousand years,’ said Alberto J. Castro-Tirado, who led the study.

Although the cause of these volcanic eruptions is not known, researchers believe they could be caused by instabilities within the star’s magnetosphere or a type of earthquake in their crust.

Mr Castro-Tirado added: ‘Regardless of the trigger, in the magnetosphere of the star a type of waves is created – the Alfvén – that are well known in the Sun and that interact with each other, dissipating energy.’

In the new study, researchers used the AIM instrument on board the International Space Station to study oscillations in the brightness of a magnetar called GRB2001415

Researchers used the AIM instrument aboard the International Space Station for the study of oscillations in brightness of GRB2001415 magnetar.

The researchers found evidence that the oscillations of the eruption were consistent with emission from Alfven waves. This energy is rapidly absorbed into the crust by the scientists.

The researchers found that this means that the entire process of magnetic transformation takes just 3.5 milliseconds.

Professor Reglero stated that the difficulty is in the shortening of the signal, whose amplity rapidly degrades and gets embedded in background noise. Because it’s correlated, it can be difficult to identify its signal.

There are only 30 known magnetars. Although eruptions in 2 other locations have been reported, GRB2001415 has the longest distance.

Professor Reglero said, “Seen in context, it had been as though the magnetar wanted us to indicate our existence from its cosmic solitude singing in the KHz with the force a Pavarottiof a million suns”

Researchers hope that the volcanic eruption will improve our understanding about how neutron stars react to magenetic stress. 

These findings might also lead to improved understanding of radio bursts (fast radio bursts), which are one of the most intriguing phenomena in astronomy according to the team. 


Neutron stars are the collapsed, burnt-out cores of dead stars.

The core of large stars that reach their end will burst, exposing the outer layers.

A neutron star is an object that’s extremely dense and resembles a city.

A neutron Star would normally have an average mass about half-a-million times that of Earth. However, they only measure 20 kilometers (12 miles) across.

Mount Everest would take as many as a handful of materials from this star.

These are extremely hot at around a million degrees. They also have intense magnetic fields.

These are, in fact, some of the most dangerous environments today according to Professor Patrick Sutton from Cardiff University’s gravitational-physics department.

Our understanding of heavy elements in the universe rests on our ability to understand dense objects and especially their cores.