TECH Astronomers find largest neutron star to date: study

TECH

Astronomers find largest neutron star to date: study

Xinhua

14:19, September 17, 2019

Astronomers at West Virginia University in the United States have discovered the most massive neutron star to date, which packs 2.17 times the mass of the sun into a sphere only 20 to 30 kilometers.

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Photo from Internet. 

This measurement approaches the limits of how massive and compact a single object can become without crushing itself down into a black hole, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The neutron star is a rapidly spinning, dense celestial object that consists primarily of closely packed neutrons and that results from the collapse of a much larger stellar body. A single sugar-cube worth of neutron-star material would weigh 100 million tons on Earth.

Researchers from West Virginia University uncovered the star, approximately 4,600 light-years from Earth, through the Green Bank Telescope in the United States.

Gravity from a white dwarf companion star warps the space surrounding it, according to Einstein's general theory of relativity. This makes the pulses from the pulsar travel just a little bit farther as they travel through the distorted spacetime around white dwarf. The delay reveals the mass of the white dwarf, which in turn provides a mass measurement of the neutron star.

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