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     Volume 2 Issue 72 | June 08, 2008|


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Science Feature

Space ghost!

A ghostly ring stretches seven light-years around the corpse of a massive star, as seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Collapsed stars known as "magnetars" form in the wake of a supernova explosion, which leaves an incredibly dense neutron star with a powerful magnetic field. The ring spotted by Spitzer likely formed from the edges of a bubble that was hollowed out by the explosive burst from the magnetar in 1998.

The very bright region near the center of the image is a nursery of young stars. Magnetar SGR 1900+14 also lies at the center of the image, but is not visible in this infrared view. However, magnetars are visible in X-ray light.

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