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A violent rift in the dense surface of a magnetar that has been warped by its own intense magnetic field.

[star + quake, on the model of earthquake.]
References in periodicals archive ?
This event is dubbed a starquake and scientists detected the largest one on record in 2004, on a magnetar 500,000 light years away from Earth.
That flare could be created by a massive disruption of the magnetic field after a starquake on the magnetar's surface, Thornton says.
The word "giant" is appropriate: a typical starquake would measure magnitude 22 on the Richter scale
Although neutron stars emit radiation across the spectrum, observing them in the X-ray band offers unique insights into their structure and phenomena that can arise from these stars, including starquakes, thermonuclear explosions, and the most powerful magnetic fields in the Universe.
However, sometimes the neutron stars will glitch due to starquakes, causing them to wobble and either speed up or slow down in their spinning.
Already, K2 has found 270 planet candidates and 30 confirmed planets, and it's also observed open star clusters, measured starquakes and other stellar rumblings, and searched for supernovae.
The starquakes, reported by the space agency last night, are allowing astronomers to learn about the stars' age, size and evolution.
Astronomers developed a technique for predicting starquakes.
Also like the Crab, its surface appears quiescent, free from the starquakes that rumble through magnetars.
So magnetars--neutron stars with powerful magnetic fields--might be the culprit, producing flares when starquakes break the magnetar's brittle crust.
Detection of starquakes caused by such flares might be an interesting challenge for stellar astronomy.
A fairly direct age measurement comes from starquakes, which create pulsations in brightness that change as the star ages.