NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center/Science@NASA
"In ordinary neutron stars the crust is stable, but in magnetars, the
crust is stressed by unbearable forces as the colossal magnetic field
drifts through it," says Dr. Robert Duncan of the University of Texas at
Austin. "This deforms the crust and sometimes cracks it." Violent seismic
waves then shake the star's surface, generating Alfven waves - the
electromagnetic equivalent of a Slinky toy - which energize clouds of
particles above the surface of the star.
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