Tag Archives: Neutron Star

Astronomers map a neutron star’s surface for the first time

by Alison Klesman, Astronomy

NASA’s NICER instrument reveals that neutron stars are not as simple as we thought.

Pulsars are the lighthouses of the universe. These tiny, compact objects are neutron stars — the remnants of once-massive stars — that spin rapidly, beaming radiation into space. Now, for the first time, astronomers have mapped the surface of a 16-mile-wide pulsar in exquisite detail. The result challenges astronomers’ textbook picture of a pulsar’s appearance and opens the door to learning more about these extreme objects.

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Most massive neutron star ever detected strains the limits of physics

by Ashley Strickland, CNN

Astronomers have detected the most massive neutron star ever, and it almost shouldn’t even exist.

Neutron stars are the smallest in the universe, with a diameter comparable to the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta. They are the leftover remnants of supernovae. But they are incredibly dense, with masses bigger than that of our sun. So think of the sun, compressed into a major city.

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Scientists detect a black hole swallowing a neutron star ‘like Pac-man’

by Doyle Rice, USA Today

More wild news from outer space:

For the first time, scientists have detected a black hole devouring a neutron star, according to a report released Monday.

“About 900 million years ago, this black hole ate a very dense star, known as a neutron star, like Pac-man – possibly snuffing out the star instantly,” said Susan Scott, a scientist with the Australian National University, in a statement. 

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