The magnetar was localized to the central part (red box) of NGC 253, a bright galaxy located about 11.4 million light years from Earth. The central region of the magnetic field is very bright (for the size of the galaxy) because it is a remnant of the simulated stars released during the exploding CR red supergiant explosion. Credit: James Stevenson and Paul Priest-Dorman. ( -- As astronomers marveled at the sudden burst of activity received in 2008, they smelled a potentially groundbreaking aspect of the association between space and time: outbursts of jetting magnetic field waves might also mark a point of origin in the evolution of the Universe, marking the start of a new phase.

It is this proposition that astronomers from Stony Brook University report they confirm in the latest Nature: They have detected what may be the signature of the eruptions of hundreds of thousands or millions of magnetic iron stars during the life of the Universe from the Big Bang to the present day: a signature of the young cosmic conditions that enabled the telltale effects that still betray shock waves to be preserved in these so-called magnetars.

The report, "Evidence for a Magnetic Shock Wave in the Plasmas Produced by Ionized Gas in a Magnetic Supergiant," by James Stevenson and Paul Priest-Dorman, appears in the latest issue of Nature about to be released.

Experiments carry out in different laboratories around the world have recently pointed to a notion of the early death of supermassive black holes—as well as hints from theory and simulations, including those using supercomputer simulations, about the plasma occurring inside massive black holes beyond 0.4 solar radii. But only a handful of computer simulations were able to determine whether our Galaxy was a 'blowup' or 'solidification' from within at the time when the late epoch of supermassive black holes began.

"This simulation that went well beyond simulations of black holes has provided us with everything we need," says Stevenson. "We can picture how this was happening in the early Universe just before the Big Bang, which points to the next step for us to take: that we have something that could be found across the Cosmic Microwave Background alone."

Until 6 billion years ago, as the simulations expected, pleasant, giant esses of gas were coalescing into what astronomers call clouds of atoms and molecules. Some of this content was heavy enough to become gas, a liquid, even a cloud of electrically charged atoms.

The absorption (radiation) lines

This amounts to "superurans"—started as hydrogen, then helium, galaxies then contents were called