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Discovery of a super massive neutron star


thefinalfrontier
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The discovery of a super massive neutron star has thrown our understanding of stellar evolution into turmoil. The new star, called PSR J1614-2230 contains twice the mass of the Sun but compressed down into a star that is smaller than the Earth (you could fit over a million Earth’s inside the Sun by comparison).It is estimated a thimbleful of material from the star could weigh more than 500 million tons — that equates to about a million airliners. The study has cast serious doubt over how matter reacts under extreme densities.

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Pulses from neutron star (rear) are slowed as they pass near foreground white dwarf. This effect allowed astronomers to measure masses of the system. CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

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Artist impression of Pulsar

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It is certainly a super massive item, i wonder just how big could something get without falling in on it self?

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I dont think there is any size limit when it comes to super massive stars, See video, And thats only in our milkyway galaxy so I imagine theres even more massive stars out there,

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New theory of gravity needed from Newton onwards imo. This finding supports the hypothesis of super dense exotic matter at the centre of the stars and planets imv.

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If you guys haven't already done so, the bottom of the article has a rather interesting discussion.

Worth reading.

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If you guys haven't already done so, the bottom of the article has a rather interesting discussion.

Worth reading.

Thanks for pointing it out Pallidin, I will have to check it out a bit later,

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500 million tons? Really? How is that type of mass measured?

That's a really good question!

The article states that a thimble full of this star material would have a mass of around 500,000,000 tons.

In order to get that estimate, you need to know the mass of the star it comes from, and the size of the star as well. From that you can calculate the density of the matter, and then a mass for any given volume of it. Knowing the distance to a star is a huge help in finding out it's size.

We determine the distance of a star by several methods, depending on how far away the object may be. Stellar parallax is a common method which is essentially a rather simple trigonometry problem, and an object's red shift can be measured for very distant objects, which can infer its distance.

The size of a star can be measured to rather high accuracy by stellar interferometry...which basically measures the angular diameter (how big it is relative to the 360 degree field of the sky) of an object to a high degree of precision, and then one can calculate its size by measuring it's passage over a certain distance of sky, and combining that measurement with the distance known for the object.

The mass of a star can be determined rather easily if it's a binary (orbiting another star). The one in question just so happens to be one. Knowing the size of the orbits, their orbital periods and speeds, we can determine the masses of the objects.

If you know the size, and mass, then you can compute the density. From that density, you can rather easily calculate what the mass of any given volume (i.e., a thimble full)of the star would be.

Very simply put, and without going into a bunch of mind-blowing detail, that's pretty much how this mass can be known.

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I dont think there is any size limit when it comes to super massive stars, See video, And thats only in our milkyway galaxy so I imagine theres even more massive stars out there,

i disagree with the last bit of the video. i am so the center of my universe.

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Maybe he meant at what "density" (not size), would a star (or mass) fall into itself. I thought this described "set density" (500 mil tons) was very close to that threshold -- of self-distruction....?

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