Nine new and exotic creatures for the pulsar zoo

Researchers using MeerKAT in South Africa have discovered nine millisecond pulsars, most of them in rare and sometimes unusual binary systems, as the first result of a targeted survey. An international team with significant ...

Ripples in fabric of universe may reveal start of time

Scientists have advanced in discovering how to use ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves to peer back to the beginning of everything we know. The researchers say they can better understand the state of the cosmos ...

Thirteen new pulsars discovered with MeerKAT

Using the MeerKAT radio telescope, astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany and elsewhere, have detected 13 new pulsars in the globular cluster Omega Centauri. The finding was ...

NASA's retired Compton mission reveals superheavy neutron stars

Astronomers studying archival observations of powerful explosions called short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have detected light patterns indicating the brief existence of a superheavy neutron star shortly before it collapsed into ...

Decoding mega magnetic explosions outside the solar system

Neutron stars and black holes may be stellar corpses, but they are among the most active celestial objects. They produce some of the highest-energy radiation ever observed, and scientists have long puzzled over the physics ...

NASA missions probe game-changing cosmic explosion

On Dec. 11, 2021, NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a blast of high-energy light from the outskirts of a galaxy around 1 billion light-years away. The event has rattled scientists' ...

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Neutron star

A neutron star is a type of remnant that can result from the gravitational collapse of a massive star during a Type II, Type Ib or Type Ic supernova event. Such stars are composed almost entirely of neutrons, which are subatomic particles without electrical charge and roughly the same mass as protons. Neutron stars are very hot and are supported against further collapse because of the Pauli exclusion principle. This principle states that no two neutrons (or any other fermionic particle) can occupy the same quantum state simultaneously.

A typical neutron star has a mass between 1.35 and about 2.1 solar masses, with a corresponding radius of about 12 km if the Akmal-Pandharipande-Ravenhall (APR) Equation of state (EOS) is used. In contrast, the Sun's radius is about 60,000 times that. Neutron stars have overall densities predicted by the APR EOS of 3.7 to 5.9 × 1017 kg/m³ (2.6 to 4.1 × 1014 times Solar density), which compares with the approximate density of an atomic nucleus of 3 × 1017 kg/m³. The neutron star's density varies from below 1 × 109 kg/m³ in the crust increasing with depth to above 6 or 8 × 1017 kg/m³ deeper inside.. This is approximately the weight of the entire human population condensed into the size of a sugar cube.

In general, compact stars of less than 1.44 solar masses, the Chandrasekhar limit, are white dwarfs; above 2 to 3 solar masses (the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff limit), a quark star might be created, however this is uncertain. Gravitational collapse will always occur on any star over 5 solar masses, inevitably producing a black hole.

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