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Questions tagged [neutron-star]

Questions regarding a degenerate star that is mainly composed of neutrons.

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94 votes
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Why is the discovery of merging neutron stars important?

I'm fairly certain people here will have heard about it, already, but apparently, two supernova leftovers clashed some 130 million years ago and some billion billion kilometres away ... What I haven'...
User1291's user avatar
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62 votes
3 answers
16k views

What is the hottest thing in the universe?

Straight from my 7 year old to you, exactly what it says on the cover: What is the hottest thing in the universe? To make it Stack Exchange-friendly, I'll add the following caveats: it should be ...
Bruce Becker's user avatar
45 votes
2 answers
48k views

How does a neutron star collapse into a black hole?

We know the spectacular explosions of supernovae, that when massive enough, form black holes. The explosive emission of both electromagnetic radiation and massive amounts of matter is clearly ...
SF.'s user avatar
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31 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are binary neutron star mergers needed to explain the abundance of gold?

The NPR News item Astronomers Strike Gravitational Gold In Colliding Neutron Stars mentions and quotes "Daniel Kasen, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley:" ...
uhoh's user avatar
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26 votes
2 answers
10k views

Which atom is a Neutron star made of?

I understood that everything was made of Atoms. An atom is the smallest constituent unit of ordinary matter that has the properties of a chemical element. Every solid, liquid, gas, and plasma ...
James Wood's user avatar
22 votes
5 answers
4k views

How far away are the events that caused the gravitational waves that have been detected?

A certain number of gravitational wave events have been detected. Is it possible to know how far away the mergers that caused those gravitational wave events are?
usernumber's user avatar
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21 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why does electron degeneracy pressure not stop massive star collapse?

I was thinking a little bit, and never asked myself the following. If white dwarfs do not collapse, because electron degeneracy pressure stops the star from collapsing by its own gravity, and this is ...
martín canullán's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
594 views

Can we detect pulsars that aren't "pointed" towards us?

A pulsar is a highly magnetized rotating neutron star that emits beams of radiation through its magnetic poles, in the direction of the Earth. This makes it seem to pulse, as seen from Earth. There ...
usernumber's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
742 views

"Who saw" the binary neutron star merger first? What was the sequence of events? (GRB/GW170817)

I'm trying to read Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger the "cast of thousands" OPEN Access ApJ letter 848:L12 (59pp), 2017 October 20 https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aa91c9 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it possible to break apart a neutron star?

I was inspired by this question on Physics, as well as this question right here on Astronomy. Neutron stars are tightly bound together as neutron degenerate matter. They're very massive and have a ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

Shape of neutron stars

I've heard that the more an object spins, the less of a true sphere it is. Using this logic most of neutron stars would be far from spherical,in general what shape are most neutron stars?
kingW3's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
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Are there neutron stars whose magnetic axis and rotating axis are the same, and if so what will happen?

I know that there's probably a higher chance of having a neutron star that has its magnetic axis inclined to the rotational axis rather than having it perfectly aligned. If they are not aligned, the ...
space nerd's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
8k views

What causes a neutron star to become a pulsar?

Leading on from this pulsar question, what criteria/processes make neutron stars become pulsars, do all neutron stars become pulsars?
SteB's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
501 views

How would a cooled down neutron star look when illuminated?

Assume we have a neutron star that has cooled down so far that it no longer emits visible light. If we illuminate it with a powerful external light source, what would it look like? Would it reflect ...
cuckoo's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there anything different about the gravitation around a non-spinning black hole and a neutron star of the same mass?

If we perform a simple experiment by orbiting identical spacecraft around a non-rotating black hole and a non-rotating neutron star of equal mass at a "safe" distance, and ignore differences ...
uhoh's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do all neutron stars spin?

I know that some of them are pulsars and pulsars spin very fast, but do all of the neutron stars spin? I would think that they would because of conservation of momentum, but I'm really just not sure.
matryoshka's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is it possible neutron stars are actual elements?

As you go up the periodic table (more protons), the ratio of neutrons to protons steadily increases as well. Are we sure there are absolutely no protons and electrons in a neutron star, or could there ...
fillthinehornwithoilandgo's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Have we observed any static neutron stars? [duplicate]

Neutron stars are one type of remnant of a giant star's core after its collapse. Neutron stars tend to rotate at very high speed and the mismatch between its axis of rotation and magnetic pole make it ...
Kavin Ishwaran's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

Is there a possibility that a white dwarf can turn into a neutron star or a black hole?

I know that a white dwarf is supported mainly by electron degeneracy pressure and that if it gains more than about 1.4 solar masses from any source (such as a companion star or a collision), it ...
Baalateja Kataru's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can neutron stars have gaseous atmospheres?

Neutron stars can have small atmospheres. However, they also have extremely strong gravitationally pulls. Shouldn't the all the gas molecules be drawn to the star's surface, and become solids under ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do stellar temperatures vary?

The temperature of the surface of the Sun (photosphere) is between 4500° - 6000° Kelvin. Inside the core, it's around 15.7 million degrees Kelvin. In other types of stars (neutron stars, white ...
Zoltán Schmidt's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
9k views

What happens over time as a neutron star cools?

My understanding of a white dwarf star is that, although it hasn't happened yet due to the age of the universe, eventually as it loses energy due to radiating heat and tidal forces, it will cool to ...
David Smith's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

How big would a telescope have to be to get a good look at the nearest neutron star?

It's my understanding of observational astronomy that the size of a telescope limits its effective angular resolution, which is why scientists needed to use radio telescopes all over the globe to look ...
zucculent's user avatar
  • 1,758
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the final destiny of a neutron star?

As I understand, neutron stars are born as extremely bright, extremely fast spinning cores of stars dying in a supernova. However, several websites tell me that within a course of a few years, the ...
Youstay Igo's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
17k views

What is the fastest spinning rotation of a Neutron star?

What is the fastest spinning rotation of a Neutron star? I have heard that Neutron stars have a specially fast spinning rotation. What is the fastest?
Jamd's user avatar
  • 377
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

What would happen if a body were to fall into a neutron star?

We know neutron stars as a very massive object with extremely strong gravitational forces that composes mostly of neutrons. I couldn't help but wonder, what would happen if an object fell into a ...
Yoda's user avatar
  • 500
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do neutron stars shine?

Ignore pulsars and the like, just a neutron star in empty space – does it emit light and neutrinos?
user6760's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
877 views

Is starquake unique to neutron star?

I read from somewhere that astronomer use X-ray to observe the "shaking" not to be confused with wobbling of a distant neutron star, I think it is similar to what geologist using microphone to ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 2,503
11 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why don't Neutron Stars form event horizon?

Trying to compare density of Black Holes and Neutron Stars I came up with the following: A typical neutron star has a mass between about 1.4 and 3.2 solar masses1[3] (see Chandrasekhar Limit), with a ...
SF.'s user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
799 views

How far away is the nearest compact star remnant likely to be?

Neutron stars and black holes are hard to detect when they are solitary, and there seems to be big uncertainties about how common they are. White dwarfs are much easier to detect and the nearest one ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does the average proton/electron density in a neutron star change with mass?

My understanding is that although electron degeneracy prevents beta decay, there are still a few protons and electrons hanging around. I also understand that, at least in white dwarfs, as the mass ...
zucculent's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can I hear (or at least detect) a pulsar at home?

Scott Manley's video Using Relativistic Raytracing &X-Rays To See Detail on Surface Of Neutron Star talks about X-ray measurements using the NICER X-ray telescope attached to the International ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
11 votes
1 answer
512 views

How do we know how fast the surface of a neutron star is rotating?

I understand that we can count pulses in time, but how do we know that the magnetosphere is rotating along with the surface of a neutron star? Can we measure the rotation of a neutron star in any ...
dllhell's user avatar
  • 273
10 votes
1 answer
10k views

Position of Neutron stars in H R diagram

Why is that Neutron Stars are never depicted in an H R diagram? They can be placed in the bottom right corner but you will never find any diagram in literature showing neutron stars.
seeking_infinity's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

No hair and neutron stars

I know black holes can be described by only a few parameters. Given the extreme conditions within a neutron star, how much hair does it have, ie. how much of the original star parameters and ...
tuomas's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
723 views

Origin of the magnetic field of neutron stars

It seems a little counter intuitive that neutron stars possess such strong magnetic fields. Its electric charge is presumably zero, so however fast it spins, it shouldn't generate any magnetic field. ...
ashpool's user avatar
  • 245
9 votes
2 answers
908 views

Would a tablespoon of a neutron star remain intact?

I've heard people say that a tablespoon of neutron star would weigh over a billion tons. If we ever could take a tablespoon of one would it still remain intact with the same density?
matryoshka's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
822 views

Metallicity in gravitational wave astronomy

Metallicity relates to the quantity of elements in an object that are heavier than hydrogen and helium. I often see this terminology in recent studies of gravitational waves such as this paper. If I ...
Junaid Ihsan's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
513 views

Why can there be several seconds of lag between a binary neutron star merger and the emission of gamma rays from the same area?

Answers to: Gravitational waves and gamma ray burst: how were the error bars determined for this speed of gravity calculation? Was $H_0$ used? go into substantial detail explaining this determination. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
9 votes
2 answers
984 views

Lightest Neutron Star ever observed?

Fundamentally, my question is, is this a real and confirmed observation? Or is there a too-high margin of error for now? Inspirational discoveries, Lightest neutron star ever discovered might ...
userLTK's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
537 views

What lies at the center of a neutron star if any?

What does the current theory tell us about what is going on at the core of a neutron star, I'm expecting a black hole hopefully I won't be disappointed!
user6760's user avatar
  • 2,503
9 votes
1 answer
362 views

Inner Workings of Neutron Stars

What are future steps that can be taken in order to learn more about the inner workings of a Neutron Star such as "nuclear pasta" and the materials in the inner core?
ah24's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes
2 answers
412 views

Do the neutrons in neutron stars emit the radio waves?

Neutrons can, especially in extreme circumstances (and large concentrations) emit electromagnetic radiation. I specifically asked about this in Physics S.E. Has a free neutron ever been shown to ...
Kurt Hikes's user avatar
  • 5,097
9 votes
2 answers
590 views

How likely are planets to form after neutron star collisions?

It is well known that planetary collisions can create moons orbiting the result of the merger if they happen in the correct way, and this is how the Earth's moon is believed to have been formed. See ...
Mr. Nichan's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

According to this article the max mass of a non-spinning neutron star is around 2.5 solar masses. What is defined as a non-rotating neutron star?

This is the article as mentioned above: The Maximum Mass of a Neutron Star is 2.25 Solar Masses To repeat, according to this article, the maximum mass of a non-rotating neutron star is around 2.5-3 ...
Stefan 's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Rotation direction of Pulsars

Pulsars are rotating neutron stars observed to have pulses of radiation at very regular intervals that typically range from milliseconds to seconds. It has a very strong magnetic fields which funnel ...
Autodidact's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

How could a neutron star collapse into a black hole?

White dwarfs usually do not collapse, as they have electron degeneracy pressure due to the Pauli exclusion principle. However, if one accretes mass beyond the Chandrasekhar limit, it is energetically ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why aren't neutron stars full of dark matter?

Dark matter interacts with the gravitational force right? Well, unlike black holes, neutron stars are actually visible, and they're an enormous gravitational sink, so dark matter should collect to ...
Vane Voe's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does the Chandrasekhar limit affect white dwarfs differently?

The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf star. Beyond this, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf will typically explode in a type 1a supernova, due to the nuclear reactions at those ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
784 views

Roche Zone of a black hole vs Roche Zone of Neutron Star

Suppose a very unusually small back hole with the mass of about, lets say, 1.5 solar masses(hawking radiation should destroy a lot of mass let's assume). It thus would have a Roche limit smaller than ...
Max0815's user avatar
  • 1,862