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What is a Neutron Star, Anyway?

6 Mar 2015, 00:03 UTC
What is a Neutron Star, Anyway?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Neutron stars are strange cosmic beasts. Stellar corpses that are several times the mass of our Sun but only about the width of Manhattan, they can contain a mountain’s worth of star-stuff within the space of a sugar cube, creating all sorts of weird physics that requires funny-sounding names like “quark-gluon plasma” to even try to describe what’s going on. The video above, created by Munich-based design studio Kurzgesagt (which means “in a nutshell” in German) illustrates how neutron stars form and what we think is happening on, around, and inside them.
See more In a Nutshell videos by Kurzgesagt on YouTube here, and find some interesting neutron star facts below:

Image of the neutron star inside the Crab Nebula, acquired by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Click for more info. (Credit: NASA/CXC/ASU/J.Hester et al.)
• Atomic nuclei are 99.9999999999999% empty space, but inside a neutron star all that space is taken up by neutrons and mashed-together protons and electrons.
• The gravity on the surface of a neutron star would be two hundred billion times more than on Earth, and the escape velocity needed to leave it would be half the speed of light!
• Neutron stars, although extremely hot, ...

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