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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.

Radio Programs

Crab Nebula Sculpting an interstellar crab April 19, 2018

Second-Chance Planets New planets after a stellar explosion January 25, 2018

Speed of Gravity Measuring the speed of gravity January 11, 2018

Cassiopeia A A dead star that’s bright but invisible January 2, 2018

Pulsars III Timing ripples in space and time November 29, 2017

Pulsars II “Dead” stars that spin like crazy November 28, 2017

Making Gold Making gold in the oddest of places November 6, 2017

Supernova 1987A Looking for a hidden star February 22, 2017

NICER A “nicer” kind of satellite February 21, 2017

Neutron Stars Crushing the core of a mighty star February 20, 2017

Vela X-1 A giant X-ray machine in the sky September 19, 2016

Bright and Brighter Boosting the “boom” of an exploding star June 7, 2016

Stellar Whopper The brightest of the bright March 22, 2016

Crab Nebula A crab scuttles across the sky December 14, 2015

Making a Magnetar Making a powerful magnet August 5, 2015

Magnetars Powering up some strong magnets August 4, 2015

Featured Images

NICER X-Ray Telescope Attached to International Space Station

A 'Nicer' View of the Sky February 21, 2017

Combined visible, X-ray image of M51, the whirlpool galaxy

Colorful Whirlpool June 4, 2014

Gold may have been created in the mergers of neutron stars

Golden Mergers December 23, 2013