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Main article: Asteroseismology

A starquake is an astrophysical phenomenon that occurs when the crust of a neutron star undergoes a sudden adjustment, analogous to an earthquake on Earth. Starquakes are thought to result from two different mechanisms. One is the huge stresses exerted on the surface of the neutron star produced by twists in the ultra-strong interior magnetic fields. A second cause is a result of spindown. As the neutron star loses angular velocity due to frame-dragging and by the bleeding off of energy due to it being a rotating magnetic dipole, the crust develops an enormous amount of stress. Once that exceeds a certain level, it adjusts itself to a shape closer to non-rotating equilibrium: a perfect sphere. The actual change is believed to be on the order of micrometers or less, and occurs in less than a millionth of a second.

The largest recorded starquake was detected on December 27, 2004 from the ultracompact stellar corpse SGR 1806-20.[16] It has been calculated that the energy release would be equivalent to a magnitude 32 quake on Earth.[17] The quake, which occurred 50,000 light years from Earth, released gamma rays equivalent to 1037 kW. Had it occurred within a distance of 10 light years from Earth, the quake could have triggered a mass extinction.[18]


Neutron star

Radio-quiet Pulsar

Single pulsars

Soft gamma repeater Anomalous X-ray Rotating radio transient

Binary pulsars

Binary X-ray pulsar
X-ray binary X-ray burster List Millisecond Be/X-ray Spin-up


Fast radio burst Bondi accretion Chandrasekhar limit Gamma-ray burst Glitch Neutronium Neutron-star oscillation Optical Pulsar kick Quasi-periodic oscillation Relativistic Rp-process Starquake Timing noise Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit Urca process


Gamma-ray burst progenitors Asteroseismology Compact star
Quark star Exotic star Supernova
Supernova remnant Related links Hypernova Kilonova Neutron star merger Quark-nova White dwarf
Related links Stellar black hole
Related links Radio star Pulsar planet Pulsar wind nebula Thorne–Żytkow object


LGM-1 Centaurus X-3 Timeline of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and supernovae


Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope Compton Gamma Ray Observatory Chandra X-ray Observatory


X-ray pulsar-based navigation Tempo software program Astropulse The Magnificent Seven

Physics Encyclopedia



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