Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 497 (7451), 591-3

An Anti-Glitch in a Magnetar


An Anti-Glitch in a Magnetar

R F Archibald et al. Nature.


Magnetars are neutron stars with X-ray and soft γ-ray outbursts thought to be powered by intense internal magnetic fields. Like conventional neutron stars in the form of radio pulsars, magnetars exhibit 'glitches' during which angular momentum is believed to be transferred between the solid outer crust and the superfluid component of the inner crust. The several hundred observed glitches in radio pulsars and magnetars have involved a sudden spin-up (increase in the angular velocity) of the star, presumably because the interior superfluid was rotating faster than the crust. Here we report X-ray timing observations of the magnetar 1E 2259+586 (ref. 8), which exhibited a clear 'anti-glitch'--a sudden spin-down. We show that this event, like some previous magnetar spin-up glitches, was accompanied by multiple X-ray radiative changes and a significant spin-down rate change. Such behaviour is not predicted by models of neutron star spin-down and, if of internal origin, is suggestive of differential rotation in the magnetar, supporting the need for a rethinking of glitch theory for all neutron stars.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles


    1. Astrophys J. 1999 Nov 10;525(2):L125-L128 - PubMed
    1. Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Dec 14;109(24):241103 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources