Since stellar flares are formed from the magnetic energy of a star, is it probable to assume that neutron stars can emit stellar flares as well? If so, how would the super fluid material of the star behave? Would there be anyway to observe such phenomena?

  • $\begingroup$ Please don't think I am being pedantic here, I am not, but solar flares are from our sun, just in case anybody gets the wrong idea about your question. Best of luck with it. $\endgroup$
    – user81619
    Sep 19, 2015 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ Ah yes, that makes sense. Solar, sun. I guess the more proper term would be stellar flare. I will edit appropriately. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Neuromeda
    Sep 19, 2015 at 0:48
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    $\begingroup$ Outside my ken, but I think that en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starquake_(astrophysics) may be relevant. $\endgroup$ Sep 19, 2015 at 1:07
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    $\begingroup$ That's a very interesting question. I'm curious if white dwarfs do as well. Stellar Flares/coronal mass ejections are essentially magnetic storms overpowering the gravitational attraction. My guess would be that magnetism can't do that on the surface of a Neutron star so there's no real "mass ejection", but it's just a guess and, maybe they do. They probably have enormous and Magnetospheres though. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Sep 19, 2015 at 3:52
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    $\begingroup$ Just to add, the surface of the Neutron-star might not be superfluid at all, that's probably on the inside. The outer shell of the star is very dense/compact matter that might kind of Iron rich perhaps with some super-heavy elements. The mostly neutron part is inside, similar to the mantle in earth. Neutron stars likely have layers. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Sep 19, 2015 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


There are classes of neutron star called soft gamma ray repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs), which emit bursts of high energy radiation that last (usually) from less than a second to maybe 100s.

It is thought that these objects have extremely strong fields of up to $10^{11}$ T, which is produced during a core collapse supernova when some sort of dynamo action augments the usual field amplification by flux conservation.

These "magnetars" are thought to have a strong magnetic field that powers the high energy radiation. Magnetic energy may be stored in the interior of the neutron star or in the magnetosphere by twisting the field into configurations with a lot of potential energy. This is then stochastically released as the field relaxes again, producing "flares". See for example Link (2014).

To some extent this process is a little bit like the magnetically powered flares on stars, but unlike stars, where the field is regenerated by an internal dynamo, it is thought that magnetar magnetic fields decay on timescales of 10,000 years.

  • $\begingroup$ If a neutron star flares with the oscillations of the star, could it then look like a pulsar? @Rob Jeffries $\endgroup$
    – Enos Oye
    Jun 27, 2016 at 8:00

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