DO YOU KNOW ?

You might have heard about Neutron stars. But do you know that just a sugar cube of neutron star matter would weigh about one hundred million tons on Earth? Amazing ! Isn’t it ?

Neutron stars are ancient remnants of stars that have reached the end of their evolutionary journey.

These stars are born from once-large stars that grew to four to eight times the size of our own sun before exploding in catastrophic supernovae.

After one such explosion blows a star’s outer layers into space, the core remains—but it no longer produces nuclear fusion.

With no outward pressure from fusion to counterbalance gravity’s inward pull, the star condenses and collapses in upon itself.

Despite their small diameters—about 12.5 miles (20 kilometers)—neutron stars are nearly 1.5 times the mass of our sun, and are thus incredibly dense. Just a sugar cube of neutron star matter would weigh about one hundred million tons on Earth.

A neutron star’s almost incomprehensible density causes protons and electrons to combine into neutrons—the process that gives such stars their name.

When they are formed, neutron stars rotate in space. As they compress and shrink, this spinning speeds up.

Due to spinning, these stars may emit radiation that from Earth appears to blink on and off as the star spins, like the beam of light from a turning lighthouse. This “pulsing” appearance gives some neutron stars the name ‘pulsars’. After spinning for several million years pulsars are drained of their energy and become normal neutron stars.

 

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