Neutron Stars

The crushed remnant of a star that exploded as a supernova. Stars that are born with about 8 to 20 times the mass of the Sun blast most of their material into interstellar space in titanic explosions, leaving only their crushed, dense cores. Neutron stars are named after their composition: neutrons. In a star with a core that is 1.4 to 3 times the mass of the Sun, the core collapses so completely that electrons and protons combine to form neutrons. A full bathtub of neutron-star material (instead of water) would weigh as much as two Mount Everests. A neutron star is about 10-15 miles (16-24 km) in diameter, with a liquid neutron core and a crust of solid iron. Some neutron stars, called pulsars, spin rapidly (from once a second to several hundred times per second) and generate powerful magnetic fields.

Featured Images

Combined visible, X-ray image of M51, the whirlpool galaxy
Colorful Whirlpool Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Gold may have been created in the mergers of neutron stars
Golden Mergers Monday, December 23, 2013
Artist's concept of a neutron star's crust cracking
Cracking Up Friday, March 22, 2013
Artist's concept of the pulsar and planets in the system PSR B1257+12
Second-Chance Planets Sunday, January 8, 2012
M1, the Crab Nebula, in a Hubble Space Telescope image
Crab Nebula Friday, January 6, 2012
Big Hand for a Little Star Monday, April 6, 2009
Magnetar Thursday, March 5, 2009
Stellar Lighthouse Monday, February 25, 2008
Stellar Cyclops Monday, July 16, 2007
Magnetic Blast Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Radio Programs

Golden Mergers Mining gold from a black hole Monday, December 23, 2013
Slowing Down A dead star slows down Friday, September 20, 2013
Vela A giant cloud of stellar debris Thursday, April 4, 2013
Cracking Up A neutron star cracks up Friday, March 22, 2013
Neutron Stars Gravity wins the stellar battle Thursday, March 21, 2013
Supernova 1987A, II Hunting for an elusive neutron star Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Geminga Giving birth to a “dead” star Sunday, February 12, 2012
Gravitational Waves II Tiny ripples from heavy objects Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Pulsars The steady beat of dead stars Saturday, January 7, 2012
Crab Nebula The “crabby” remains of an exploded star Friday, January 6, 2012
More Cassiopeia A Flowing through a neutron star Thursday, October 6, 2011
Flickering Crab A dead but fascinating star Friday, April 8, 2011
Closest Black Hole? A record-setting stellar neighbor Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Magnetars II Magnetizing a dead star Friday, March 6, 2009
Magnetars Energizing the solar system Thursday, March 5, 2009
Gamma-Ray Bursts III One more moment of glory Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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