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Supernovae & Magnetars that Collapse into Black Holes

9 Jul 2016, 22:00 UTC
Supernovae & Magnetars that Collapse into Black Holes
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Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a neutron star.When a massive star undergoes core collapse in a supernova explosion, the collapsed core of the star can form a rapidly rotating, strongly magnetized neutron star. Such a neutron star can be referred to as a “millisecond magnetar". The tremendous reservoir of rotational energy possessed by the millisecond magnetar can be rapidly released through electromagnetic dipole spin-down of the millisecond magnetar. This can greatly energise and boost the luminosity of the supernova explosion, potentially resulting in a superluminous supernova explosion.Furthermore, a millisecond magnetar formed following core collapse of a massive star can have a large enough mass to be classified as a supramassive neutron star. Such an overly-massive neutron star is supported against gravitational collapse by its rapid rotation and it is only temporarily stable. As the supramassive neutron star, in the form of a millisecond magnetar, loses rotational energy though electromagnetic dipole spin-down, it can collapse and transform into a black hole. The formation of a black hole results in the sudden loss of the central engine (i.e. the millisecond magnetar) to energise the supernova explosion.Figure 2: Light curves of supernovae explosions powered by magnetar spin-down. The black hole transformation time ranges ...

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