Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Neutron Star Found

Neutron stars are the collapsed cores of some massive stars. They pack roughly the mass of our Sun into a region the size of a city. We'll talk about neutron star evolution in a bit, but let's say you take your run of the mill mature neutron star, which has recovered from its birth trauma. What is its structure like? First, the typical mass of a neutron star is about 1.4 solar masses, and the radius is probably about 10 km.

A new neutron star was found out recently by the astronomers. It is the eighth known neutron star ever. Peculiar thing is that it is very nearer to our planet earth.The object has been nicknamed Calvera, after the villain in the 1960s western film The Magnificent Seven. Other seven stars were collectively known as magnificent seven. Neutron stars are formed due to supernova explosion. Stars exhaust the nuclear fuel.

This explosion blows off the outer layers of the star, forming a supernova remnant. The central region of the star collapses under gravity, causing protons and electrons to combine to form neutrons - hence the name "neutron star".

Details of the study, by a team of American and Canadian researchers, will appear in the Astrophysical Journal.

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