NASA's Two Sides of the Same Star discusses the relationship between pulsars and magnetars and contains a video also linked below.
02:13 it quotes "Tom Prince, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology and a senior research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory" as saying:
First, magnetars don't last long — just a year to a few years, before colossal waves of X-rays dissipate the magnetic energy...
The quote is also present in Space.com's Dr. Pulsar and Mr. Magnetar? 2 Star Types May Turn into Each Other
Checking Wikipedia's Magnetar; Description:
The active life of a magnetar is short. Their strong magnetic fields decay after about 10,000 years, after which activity and strong X-ray emission cease.
Now four orders of magnitude is sometimes not a lot in Astrophysics, but the difference between a years and ten thousand years is huge for observational astronomy because the former can be readily measured and verified while the latter would need to be inferred from other observations.
Question: Is "magnetars don't last long — just a year to a few years" really true? Is it a misquote or perhaps taken out of context?
If it's true, are there plots of some observable decaying on this timescale that can verify this?
Related and potentially helpful:
- this excellent answer to How does the field decay of a magnetar power the emission of high-energy electromagnetic radiation?