New computer simulation reveals the dynamo that generates large-scale magnetic fields in merging neutron stars
Merging and colliding neutron stars produce powerful kilonova explosions and gamma-ray bursts. Scientists have long suspected that a large and ultra-strong magnetic field is the engine behind these high-energy phenomena. However, the process that generates this magnetic field has been a mystery until now. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and at the universities in Kyoto and Toho have revealed the underlying mechanism by performing a super-high resolution computer simulation taking into account all fundamental physics. The researchers showed that ultra-strongly magnetized neutron stars, also known as magnetars, cause very bright kilonova explosions. Telescopic observations could test this prediction in the future.