Probing the origins of extreme neutron stars

May 31, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Neutron stars are the unimaginably dense corpses of what were once much more massive stars that died while being ripped apart in a supernova explosion. Their average density is typically more than one billion tons per teaspoonful, even denser than the nucleus of an atom that is composed of protons and neutrons. Because these densities can never be reproduced on the Earth, these objects are great extraterrestrial laboratories for the study of how matter and exotic particles behave under extreme conditions.

Their existence was predicted in 1934 just one year after the discovery of the neutron, but it took another 30 years before the first neutron star was actually observed. Since that time, nearly all of the that have had their masses accurately measured fall in a narrow range centered approximately on 1.4 times the mass of the Sun. Last October a group of astronomers using the Green Bank Radio Telescope found a neutron star that has a mass of nearly twice that of the Sun. The measurement of the mass is extremely precise because the neutron star is actually a pulsar (PSR J1614-2230) that spins on its axis at 317 times per second with clock-like regularity. What makes this discovery so remarkable is that the existence of a very massive neutron star allows astrophysicists to rule out a wide variety of that claim that the neutron star could be composed of exotic such as hyperons or condensates of kaons.

One of the big questions that arises is "how does Nature produce these very massive neutron stars?" Are they born that way or did they grow because they gravitationally strip mass from a nearby star? One of the clues to the origin of this pulsar is that it is not alone. It is found in a very close 9-day binary orbit with another dead star known as a white dwarf. According to Professor Lorne Nelson (Bishop's University) and his colleagues at MIT, Oxford, and UCSB, the neutron star was likely spun up to become a fast-rotating (millisecond) pulsar as a result of the neutron star having cannibalized its stellar companion many millions of years ago, leaving behind a dead core composed mostly of carbon and oxygen. According to Nelson, "Although it is common to find a high fraction of stars in binary systems, it is rare for them to be close enough so that one star can strip off mass from its companion star. But when this happens, it is spectacular."

In order to understand how this binary formed, their strategy was to compute a grid of theoretical models that would describe how binary systems evolve over the entire lifetime of the Universe. Thanks to the incredible number-crunching power of supercomputers, Nelson and his collaborators were able to calculate the evolution of more than 40,000 plausible starting cases for the binary and determine which ones were relevant. As they describe at this week's CASCA meeting in Ontario, Canada, they found several cases where the neutron star could grow significantly in mass at the expense of its companion, but as Nelson says, "It isn't easy for Nature to make such high-mass neutron stars, and this probably explains why they are so rare."

Explore further: Quest for extraterrestrial life not over, experts say

Provided by Canadian Astronomical Society

4.5 /5 (6 votes)

Related Stories

Astronomers discover fastest-spinning pulsar

Jan 12, 2006

A team of astronomers led by McGill University graduate student Jason Hessels has discovered the fastest-spinning neutron star, or pulsar, ever found. The 20-mile-diameter superdense pulsar, which at 716 revolutions ...

The case of the neutron star with a wayward wake

Jun 01, 2006

A long observation with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed important new details of a neutron star that is spewing out a wake of high-energy particles as it races through space. The deduced location ...

Recommended for you

Quest for extraterrestrial life not over, experts say

19 hours ago

The discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the "habitable" zone of a distant star, though exciting, is still a long way from pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial life, experts said Friday. ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

23 hours ago

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Exoplanets soon to gleam in the eye of NESSI

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets ...

User comments : 38

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

El_Nose
4.3 / 5 (4) May 31, 2011
it is still hard for me to imagine an object as large as a star spinning 200 times a second -- i wonder if it is just like a top layer spinning that fast or is the entire mass spinning -- i guess my real question is what of the core -- is it spinning - or heck is the core just a black hole
antialias
5 / 5 (13) May 31, 2011
Omatur in 3, 2, 1, ....
LariAnn
3.7 / 5 (3) May 31, 2011
If this neutron star has almost twice the mass of our Sun, but the density is more than a billion tons per teaspoonful, then how large, physically, is this star? It can't be physically nearly twice the size of our Sun, what with such a density. Using neutron star material, how much equals nearly twice the mass of our Sun? I imagine it must be a body even smaller in physical size than our Moon!
AuntieMatter
5 / 5 (10) May 31, 2011
No Omatur? Must be neuron repulsion at work.
antialias
5 / 5 (11) May 31, 2011
how large, physically, is this star?

About 10-15km in diameter (give or take a few).
At 317 revolutions per second that's a tangential surface speed of between 10000 to 15000 kilometers per second (if I didn't mistype anything into the calculator).

That's pretty fast (about 3-5% of the speed of light).
Crazy_council
2 / 5 (3) May 31, 2011
is there now way that this could just be the surface charge spinning this fast. IE ossilations of a electrical/plasma field.
omatumr
1.2 / 5 (14) May 31, 2011
We found some the answers in nuclear rest mass data in 2000 and published the finding in several post-2000 research reports:

1. "Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy" Journal of Fusion Energy 19, 93-98 (2001):

http://www.omatum...tnuc.pdf

2. "The Sun's origin, composition and source of energy", 32nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conf., paper 1041 (2001) LPI Contribution 1080

www.omatumr.com/lpsc.prn.pdf

3. "Nuclear systematics: III. The source of solar luminosity", J. Radioanalytical & Nuclear Chemistry 252, 3-7 (2002):

www.omatumr.com/a...sym3.pdf

4. "Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate",
Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002):

http://arxiv.org/.../0501441

5. "Composition of the solar interior: Information from isotope ratios", ESA SP-517 (editor:
Huguette Lacoste) 345-348 (2003):

http://arxiv.org/...410717v1

Oliver K. Manuel
thermodynamics
4.9 / 5 (8) May 31, 2011
Wow, I was getting concerned. There were 6 posts before Omatur jumped in. I thought he might have been banned or something. But, all is well. He and his loony vision of neutron repulsion are here.

LariAnn, Wikipedia puts the diameter around 12 kilometer. About the size of a small town. It is incredible to think of something that small having the mass of two suns. The article on Wikipedia is good (as usual).
omatumr
1.4 / 5 (17) May 31, 2011
Wikipedia puts the diameter around 12 kilometer. About the size of a small town. It is incredible to think of something that small having the mass of two suns.


That is a reasonable estimate for the size of the neutron star that hides in the cores of the Sun and other "ordinary" stars - actually glowing balls of waste products (H and He) from the neutron cores [1-5].

Science is starting to advance rapidly, as the Western economies crumble and political leaders realize that the future of their political power depends on how quickly that can abandon the fabricated illusion that the violently unstable neutron star in the core of the Sun [1-5] has less influence on Earth's changing climate than CO2!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Na_Reth
2.3 / 5 (4) May 31, 2011
Now we just need the tech to use neutrons and mining asteroids.
So we can build a massive spaceship powered by a neutron star.
omatumr
1.4 / 5 (17) May 31, 2011
So we can build a massive spaceship powered by a neutron star.


Mankind, even the combined forces of Al Gore, the UN, and all the world and science leaders together cannot control or use the enormous energy stored in a neutron star [1-5, above].

When mankind lets go of the illusion that we or our politicians can control nature, I hope to see a merger of science and spirituality that will benefit society and lessen dogmatism in organized religions and government-directed science.

There were encouraging signs of the merger in the publication of a new book by Devadatta Kali:

"Svetasvataropanisad: The Knowledge That Liberates"

www.amazon.com/Sv...hf_p_t_1

Na_Reth
4.3 / 5 (8) May 31, 2011
I did not ask you anything oma tumor.
omatumr
1.2 / 5 (13) May 31, 2011
Message not for Na_Reth:


It is almost certainly shifts in the position of the dense, energetic solar core that causes solar wobble and changes in Earth's climate [6,7].

The combined forces of Al Gore, the UN, and all the world and science leaders together cannot stop solar cycles, induced by the Sun's wobble about the center-of-mass of the solar system, unless they figure out how to stop planets from orbiting the Sun.

6. "Earth's Heat Source - The Sun", Energy and Environment 20, 131-144 (2009):

http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

7. Top Scientist Says new Solar Wobble to Prolong Global Cooling (31 May 2011):

www.suite101.com/...Ny1qsvM4
Resonance
5 / 5 (10) May 31, 2011
You have no basis for any of these arguments. Your nuclear chemistry education does not entitle you to comment on nuclear physics (and the strong interaction) nor does it put you into any respectable position to comment on astrophysics.
The sun is very well understood and there is no possibility of there being a neutron star in its core! Why do you think that any astrophysicist laughs at this claim? Why do you think no respectable academic journal has accepted your 'discoveries' as science? You should reflect on your thoughts sir, and move on, to perhaps a publishable scientific finding and stop wasting everyone's time.
omatumr
1.4 / 5 (12) May 31, 2011
You have no basis for any of these arguments. . . . nor does it put you into any respectable position to comment on astrophysics. The sun is very well understood


1. Research profile shows qualifications:

http://myprofile....anuelo09

2. Historical pictures/papers

1976 OM with WAF Gregynog Wales Workshop

www.omatumr.com/P...shop.pdf

Trans MO Acad Sci 9, 104-122 (1975)
Nature 262, 28-32 (1976)
Science 195, 208-209 (1977)

1980 OM giving plenary lecture at Vernadsky Institute

www.omatumr.com/P...chem.pdf

Geokhimiya (12) 1776-1801 (1981)

2004 OM with D D Clayton at Vancouver Symposium Nuclei in the Cosmos

www.omatumr.com/P...desc.htm

"Solar abundance of elements from neutron-capture cross sections", 36th LPSC (2005)

http://arxiv.org/...412502v1

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Caliban
4 / 5 (10) May 31, 2011
You have no basis for any of these arguments. . . . nor does it put you into any respectable position to comment on astrophysics. The sun is very well understood


1. Research profile shows qualifications:

http://myprofile....anuelo09

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo


@Oliver,

There used to be some amount of respect due you as a legitimate scientist. But you've used it all up. I don't see anywhere in any of your citations, an explanation for why none of the other known neutron stars or pulsars elsewhere in the universe, either near or far, has that pesky distinguishing feature possessed by Old Sol- that fiery, turbulent, dynamic, effulgent, coruscant photospere/corona.

No disrespect intended, but -why the f**k is that?

SoylentGrin
5 / 5 (3) Jun 01, 2011
What are the implications of such massive, fast spinning for the space-time around the object? Didn't we just confirm frame dragging around earth? If it's detectable around a relatively light, slow moving object like Earth, what kind of shredding is happening around pulsars?
frajo
4.7 / 5 (3) Jun 01, 2011
a fast-rotating (millisecond) pulsar as a result of the neutron star having cannibalized its stellar companion many millions of years ago, leaving behind a dead core composed mostly of carbon and oxygen.
This raises the question why the remnant carbon and oxygen wasn't cannibalized, too.
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (7) Jun 01, 2011
a fast-rotating (millisecond) pulsar as a result of the neutron star having cannibalized its stellar companion many millions of years ago, leaving behind a dead core composed mostly of carbon and oxygen.
This raises the question why the remnant carbon and oxygen wasn't cannibalized, too.


The star is shaped like an onion with heavier elements being produced by fusion in the deeper layers. This usually happens during the red giant phase. The star turns into a giant low density blob of hydrogen and helium with a much denser core of Oxygen and Carbon. The extended hydrogen blob was scooped up by the neutron star while the dense oxygen/carbon core was preserved and remained out of reach of the neutron star.
Resonance
4.9 / 5 (10) Jun 01, 2011
Nowhere in any of your 'qualifications' do you have any history of general relativity or the strong interaction yet your insane effort continues.

This is like me (a phd student in physics) boldly claiming that some mechanism in biology blatantly proves creationism. This would not only be a stupid statement but also non-scientific because I have very little education in the subject.
Again just because you know how to calculate the half life of an element it does not qualify you to calculate the interaction between a neutron star and a gas cloud let alone a star. There are people much smarter than you who do this; contact them, and ask them whether or not they think your idea works. Remember THEY are the experts, not you Oliver!
omatumr
1 / 5 (10) Jun 01, 2011
Those who want to understand interactions neutrons (n) and protons (p) with themselves and with each other [n-n, n-p, p-p], need to plot and study only 3,000 nuclear rest mass data points that represent every atom in the visible universe:

A, Here are the data:

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

B. Here are our conclusions:

1. "Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy" Journal of Fusion Energy 19, 93-98 (2001)

www.omatumr.com/a...tnuc.pdf

2. "Neutron Repulsion", The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011)

http://arxiv.org/...2.1499v1

C. Here are your comments on data and intrepretation:
Resonance
5 / 5 (6) Jun 01, 2011
Ok I have a couple of very simple questions for you.

1.) If like interactions between nucleons are repulsive then why can we form p-p or n-n bound states in the first place?
2.) If there was a neutron star inside the Sun, what would be the lifetime of our Sun? (i.e. how long would it take for the neutron star to eat the rest of the normal matter making up the sun? This is in contrast to a binary system involving a neutron star and a parent star: The neutron star will 'eat' the parent star if the two are close enough.)
omatumr
1 / 5 (8) Jun 01, 2011
1. Read the papers.

2. Study the data.

Learning requires action.

Nobody can pour info on you.
Deesky
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 01, 2011

1. Read the papers.
2. Study the data.

Learning requires action.

Nobody can pour info on you.

Typically idiotic and evasive response. You would be funny, if not for being convicted of bullying and child molestation.
MarkyMark
5 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2011
1. Read the papers.

2. Study the data.

Learning requires action.

Nobody can pour info on you.

In other words you dont know. Perhaps you should go do something you are good at instead of trying to troll such as exspressing your 'love' for children!
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2011
The Sun's composition permits the application of acoustical properties. Only these properties are familiar to me. The periodic, cyclic core 'wobble' is new for me. And adds to viewing the Sun within the scope of acoustical properties as well.

The response to omatumr is no surprise to anyone.

@vidar lune
Do oxygen and carbon nuclei collide under these conditions? Is that the spectrum signature of these cores? Can an accelerator replicate such a collision in part, assuming such collisions occur? Source of questions. Layman's curiosity.
yyz
5 / 5 (4) Jun 04, 2011

1. Read the papers.
2. Study the data.

Learning requires action.

Nobody can pour info on you.


While Oliver prattles on about things he knows nothing about, real scientists have just published new data, obtained using the HST, for 7 Isolated Neutron Stars(INS): http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.4178

The team reports that some INSs have "optical excesses" when compared to output extrapolated from X-ray spectra and most INS observed here exhibit deviations from purely thermal emission. Also discussed are possible NS 'atmospheres', along with comparisons to magnetars and pulsars.

Most importantly, optical/UV Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) are presented for all 7 INS [Fig 3] and X-ray/optical SEDs are presented for two of the INS [Fig 2].

Now if Oliver would read & study this paper and refs therein (and produce a NR-derived SED for ANY neutron star), that would be real progress on his part.

"Learning requires action" dontcha know :^)

ekim
5 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2011
In countless posts I've seen Oliver refer to the solar neutrino problem. However in 2002 this was solved with the discovery of neutrino oscillations ,which led to a Nobel prize being awarded to it's discoverers. Wouldn't the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory refute,or confirm, his claims of a neutron core in the sun?
yyz
5 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2011
"Wouldn't the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory refute,or confirm, his claims of a neutron core in the sun?"

Most researchers familiar with the data on neutrino oscillations (including Ray Davis, who first noted the "missing neutrino" problem using data collected from the Homestake Mine and received a Nobel Prize for his work on solar neutrinos) accept the reality of this phenomena.

Unfortunately, Oliver steadfastly believes quantitative _observations_ of neutrino oscillations are seriously in error. Go fig........ :^p
Tseihta
5 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2011
Still waiting to hear a rebuttal from the neutron repulsion guru, but I guess when you're beat... you're beat. I'm surprised he's still around after everyone's votes... I guess more people need to 'report abuse' for his spamming of pseudo science on this site about actual science.
Moderators, please take note.
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2011
Wouldn't the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory refute, or confirm, his claims of a neutron core in the sun?


Neutron-decay generates low energy anti-neutrinos that could have been detected or refuted by looking for products of the (Cl-35 anti-v => S-35) reaction in the Homestake Mine that Ray Davis used.

I was told the Homestake Mine and Ray Davis' detector were flooded in 2003 - despite my pleas [1-3], It has been reopened?

2. "Is there a deficit of solar neutrinos?", Proceedings 2nd Int'l Workshop on Neutrino Oscillations, Istituto Veneto di Scienze ed Arti, Venice, Italy, 3-5 Dec 2003

http://arxiv.org/.../0410460

2. "The need to measure low energy, anti-neutrinos (E < 0.782 MeV) from the Sun",
Physics of Atomic Nuclei 67, 1959-1962 (2004); Yadernaya Fizika 67, 1983-1988 (2004)

www.omatumr.com/a...inos.pdf

3. Science (2003) vol. 300, 1486

www.sciencemag.or...citation
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2011
Oliver,

All that stuff HAS been done. Not our fault if you don't read the new information. Nor is our fault that you refuse to accept the evidence that all neutrinos, including low energy anti-neutrinos, osculate types. This is because ALL neutrinos are very low mass and thus there is little difference between them.

This has been pointed out to you before but you refuse to accept anything that goes against your ideas. No matter who it comes from or how solid the evidence is.

I new about the tank of cleaning fluid since it started and so did others here. We are all aware of it. Only you don't know that there is much more these days.

Go read something that isn't old.

Ethelred
El_Nose
1 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2011
HEY OMAR

i think i get what you've been trying to say

you are stating that the theories on star formation in general are correct. but that you suspect there is sufficient evidence that our solar system was built the same as reported, but we are missing mass

since we live on a solid planet then the bare minimum is that this solar system formed from a Type II supernova In which case all the solid material in the system is remnants of that star's core However even though the gaseous envelope exploded and a lot of iron & other elements went out to seed the solar system - the majority of the iron almost had to remain near or in the stellar center

a few hundred million years goes by as the our sun forms on the remains of the dead parent star but the iron that had to be in a star 9-15x our Sun is not accounted for in the materials in our solar system we should look for the missing iron in the core of sun

since our sun is 1 solar mass and we formed from a 9-15x solar mass star, donde iron
El_Nose
not rated yet Jun 09, 2011
I am not saying i agree - but i get it -- there is eveidence all over the solar system that a really big star formed us -- either that or at some time we traveled through a huge type II supernova and collected a lot of materials because we see evidence of say specific types of Xe that could not have formed naturally from any other production method -- and we have seen suffiecient quantities that either we are statistically super lucky in find material or the rest of the system has similar quantities and some assumption is wrong.

I get it -- not enough to agree -- but i get the jist of what you are saying -- and if the iron is still in the sun then perhaps a novel type of nuclear reaction is taking place that has not been previously rigorously looked into.

enter neutron repulsion -- as a way of explaining why we see the abundance or matter on earth that has no explanation under current theories... other than we had to be really lucky to find such bulk quantities

I meant -- HEY OLIVER
Ethelred
5 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2011
Not quite what Oliver is saying.

He claims it was OUR Sun that was the supernova. He does NOT claim our Sun has an iron core. He claims it has a NEUTRON star at the core and a RIGID iron surface just below a thin skin of photosphere and further the iron surface can be seen in sunspots. How the iron can be rigid at 5000K he carefully fails to explain.

Ethelred
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2011
a RIGID iron surface just below a thin skin of photosphere and further the iron surface can be seen in sunspots. How the iron can be rigid at 5000K he carefully fails to explain.


Don't we see absorption in the spectra from the sun that shows elements other than H or He? Wouldn't a rigid iron surface block that? Do we see lines that suggest iron?
omatumr
1 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2011
HEY OMAR

i think i get what you've been trying to say.


You are on the right track. Measurements show:

a.) Decay products of extinct, short-lived in meteorites. Hence the solar system formed almost immediately after the elements were made:

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

b.) Isotopes made in different regions of the star did not mix before meteorites formed.

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

c.) Light isotopes and light elements are enriched at the top of the photosphere from 9-stages of mass fractionation. The interior of the Sun is mostly Fe, O, Ni, Si, S. Mg and Ca - like meteorites and rocky planets.

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

www.omatumr.com/i...Fig2.htm

www.omatumr.com/i...Fig3.htm

d.) H & He pouring from the Sun are waste products from the neutron star

www.omatumr.com/P...core.htm

http://arxiv.org/...2.1499v1

Skultch
5 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2011
http://www(dot)omatumr.com


Am I the only one creeped out by the picture on the main page? I mean, I know I'm biased by Oliver's past, but you'd think he'd choose a picture that didn't make him look like a predator.

Oh. And I just this time caught the license plate in that picture. FE-SUN. Get it? Iron Sun. Watch out, Oliver. There are some people on this site that have even more free time and less sanity than you.

Now you've got two reasons to change that pic.

More news stories

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...