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Neutron stars

Neutron stars are resultant of supernova. Supernova is explosion of any star that happens in last stage of life of the star. At times neutron stars are born out of this phenomena called supernova. If halting of collapse of some massive star’s core gives birth to a neutron star due to rising neutron pressure then the massive star can be called mother star, supernova can be called labor and neutron star can be called newborn. A neutron star is formed only if rising neutron pressure halts collapse of central core of the mother star. Neutron star will not form and collapsing core will become a black hole if collapsing core is about three times more massive than solar mass.

Neutron stars are densest known objects with density nearly equivalent to density of any object with mass of sun squished down to size of a city. Diameter of a neutron star is about 20 km. 1 sugar cube of neutron star matter will weigh 1 trillion kg or I billion tons on earth, such is the density of neutron stars. As these are stellar remnants they are found everywhere in the universe. Some neutron stars escape detection because they don’t emit enough radiation. Some neutron stars sit quietly in the centers of supernova remnants emitting X-ray but usually neutron stars are seen spinning wildly. Such wildly spinning neutron stars with extreme magnetic fields are called pulsars or magnetars. Neutron stars usually possess magnetic field trillions of times that of earth but magnetars possess magnetic field another 1000 times greater. Neutron stars in binary systems are often found accreting material from companion.

Majority of neutron stars are observed as pulsars. These are rotating neutron stars whose identification is through regular interval pulses of radiation. Pulsars have very strong magnetic fields causing jets of particles being funneled out along magnetic poles. Accelerated particles produce extremely strong beams of light that we can see only when beams cross our line of sight giving the impression that pulsars are switching on and off regularly. As stated above, magnetars are neutron stars that possess magnetic fields far greater than other neutron stars.

Magnetic field and crust is locked together in neuron stars in such a way that smallest of change in one can affect other. A small movement in crust can cause explosion as crust is under great strain but as crust and magnetic field are locked together explosion ripples through the magnetic field. A magnetar can release huge amount of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation in the event of any movement in crust. A particular magnetar had a burst releasing energy more than the energy released by our sun in 100000 years, in just 1/10th of a second.                 


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