Do you know that the most powerful magnets in the universe are actually a type of star. Magnetars are the remains of stars that have “run out of fuel”, or in other words, hydrogen. The star is essentially dying, and when this happens, it tries to compensate for the lack of fuel by burning all the types of elements. This smorgasbord of fuels causes the star to burn as a bright red giant, but only for a temporary time. Eventually, the burning causes the star to burst into a supernova explosion.
Neutron stars are what’s left behind, and magnetars are a special type of neutron star. Neutron stars are made up of neutrons, which are subatomic particles that have no charge. They are incredibly powerful, especially when it comes to magnetars. Their strong magnetic fields makes them the most powerful magnets in the universe, definitely more powerful than a fridge magnet or anything that could ever be replicated on Earth.
For instance, if a magnetar passed within 100,000 miles of Earth, all the credit cards with magnetic strips on the planet would be destroyed. If a human was about 600 miles from one, it could rip the tissue from their body -- a gruesome thought, but representative of the immense magnetic force these stars contain. It could even rip some planets apart, depending on the size of the planet and the distance between it and the magnetar. Some experts even suggest that the only more dense or powerful celestial phenomenon is a black hole.
Luckily for us however, there are only a dozen or fewer magnetars, according to scientists. Furthermore, the closest one to Earth is nearly 10,000 light years away. So, we shouldn’t worry too much about coming into contact with one of these magnetic powerhouses. However, studying them from a safe distance has could help scientists understand more about not only space but nuclear fusion other physics.