Release Images

Release No.: 2005-06
For Release: Friday, February 18, 2005 - 9:00am

Blast Affected Earth From Halfway Across The Milky Way

This artist's concept shows a magnetar--a neutron star with a super-strong magnetic field, represented by the lines in this illustration. A magnetar designated SGR 1806-20 generated a gamma-ray flare that released enough energy to disrupt the Earth's ionosphere from 50,000 light-years away.

Robert S. Mallozzi (UAH/NASA MSFC)

An artist conception of the SGR 1806-20 magnetar including magnetic fields. After the initial flash, smaller pulsations in the data suggest hot spots on the rotating magnetar's surface. The data also shows no change in the magnetar's rotation after the initial flash.