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How highly magnetized neutron stars set off powerful cosmic explosions

In 1979, a messenger arrived from deep space: Satellites detected a mysteriously short and powerful flash of gamma rays, the highest energy form of light. In the decades since, researchers have narrowed in on the origin of these bursts: magnetars, neutron stars with magnetic fields 1 trillion times stronger than refrigerator magnets. Watch to learn how these extreme stars form, and what scientists have discovered about their powerful eruptions.