Skip to main content
Email Print Share

News Release 05-025 - Video

Soft Gamma Ray Bursts

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Still from magnetar animation
View Video


SGR 1806-20 is a "magnetar": a rapidly spinning neutron star that has both an incredible density, trillions of times greater than ordinary matter, and an incredibly strong magnetic field. Tens of thousands of years ago, a "starquake" disrupted the magnetar's surface. The result was an explosive release of energy, which sent a pulse of gamma rays racing across the cosmos at the speed of light.

Credit: Trent L. Schindler, National Science Foundation

Back to article

Related media icon
This video requires the free RealPlayer plug-in