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



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


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

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content