Astrophysical magnetic fields

Magnetic fields are produced by electrical currents that are generated by various astrophysical objects. The study of magnetic fields seeks to understand their origin, as well as the acceleration of charged particles in such fields, and includes numerical simulations and observational studies of magnetism in astrophysical environments.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Two sources of variability are reported in extreme horizontal branch (EHB) stars found in globular clusters, both related to the action of weak magnetic fields: large surface spots and very energetic flares. EHB stars in clusters can thus be linked to EHB field stars, and beyond, to other stars with radiative envelopes.

    • Y. Momany
    • , S. Zaggia
    • , M. Montalto
    • , D. Jones
    • , H. M. J. Boffin
    • , S. Cassisi
    • , C. Moni Bidin
    • , M. Gullieuszik
    • , I. Saviane
    • , L. Monaco
    • , E. Mason
    • , L. Girardi
    • , V. D’Orazi
    • , G. Piotto
    • , A. P. Milone
    • , H. Lala
    • , P. B. Stetson
    •  & Y. Beletsky
  • Research |

    Simulated mergers of two massive stars provide a solution to the long-standing puzzle of the origin of strong magnetic fields in a subset of massive stars.

    • Fabian R. N. Schneider
    • , Sebastian T. Ohlmann
    • , Philipp Podsiadlowski
    • , Friedrich K. Röpke
    • , Steven A. Balbus
    • , Rüdiger Pakmor
    •  & Volker Springel
    Nature 574, 211-214
  • Research |

    The X-ray pulsar wind nebula around PSR B0540–69 brightened by about a third after a change in the pulsar’s spin-down rate. This phenomenon, which has not previously been seen in this way in other pulsars, is likely to be due to a sudden change in the pulsar’s magnetosphere.

    • M. Y. Ge
    • , F. J. Lu
    • , L. L. Yan
    • , S. S. Weng
    • , S. N. Zhang
    • , Q. D. Wang
    • , L. J. Wang
    • , Z. J. Li
    •  & W. Zhang
    Nature Astronomy 3, 1122-1127
  • Research |

    The measured magnetic field strengths of four close-in gas giant planets are reported, using a technique based on magnetic star–planet interactions. Values range from 20 G to 120 G, close to estimates based on planetary internal heat flux, but ~10–100 times larger than predicted by dynamo scaling laws.

    • P. Wilson Cauley
    • , Evgenya L. Shkolnik
    • , Joe Llama
    •  & Antonino F. Lanza
    Nature Astronomy 3, 1128-1134

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