Neutron Star Stuff: Just neutrons, no quarks | Science News


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Neutron Star Stuff: Just neutrons, no quarks

9:30am, November 6, 2002

Neutron stars cram more mass than that of the sun into a sphere as wide as a city. A teaspoon's worth of a neutron star weighs in at a billion tons. Exotic though they may be, neutron stars are not what physicists would call strange, according to a study reported this week.

To find out what these ultradense stars are made of, Jean Cottam of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and her colleagues used an X-ray satellite to determine how light is warped by the extreme gravity of a neutron star partnered with an ordinary star some 30,000 light-years from Earth. This pairing is known as EXO0748-676.

According to the general theory of relativity, light escaping from any strong region of gravity

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