Artist’s animation of HD 45166, the most magnetic massive star ever found

This video shows an artist’s animation of HD 45166, a massive star recently discovered to have a powerful magnetic field of 43 000 gauss, the strongest magnetic field ever found in a massive star. Intense winds of particles blowing away from the star are trapped by this magnetic field, enshrouding the star in a gaseous shell as illustrated here.

This finding provides clues to the origin of magnetars, compact dead stars laced with magnetic fields at least a billion times stronger than the one in HD 45166. Astronomers believe that this star will end its life as a magnetar. As it collapses under its own gravity, its magnetic field will strengthen, and the star will eventually become a very compact core with a magnetic field of around 100 trillion gauss — the most powerful type of magnet in the Universe.

HD 45166 is part of a binary system. In the background, we get a glimpse of HD 45166’s companion, a normal blue star that has been found to orbit at a far larger distance than previously reported.


ESO/L. Calçada

About the Video

Release date:17 August 2023, 20:00
Related releases:eso2313
Duration:19 s
Frame rate:25 fps

About the Object

Name:HD 45166

Ultra HD (info)



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5.1 MB

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