Neutron stars shed neutrinos to cool down quickly | Science News


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Neutron stars shed neutrinos to cool down quickly

The process removes heat ‘the way the casino removes money from tourists’ pockets’

8:49am, May 2, 2018
neutron star

GETTING CHILLS  After swiping material from a partner star, a neutron star (illustrated) quickly cooled off by spewing out particles called neutrinos.

For some neutron stars, the quickest way to cool off isn’t with a frosty beverage, but with lightweight, subatomic particles called neutrinos.

Scientists have spotted the first solid evidence that some neutron stars, the collapsed remnants of exploded stars, can rapidly cool their cores by emitting neutrinos. The result adds to evidence that scientists are gathering to understand the ultradense matter that is squished deep within a neutron star’s center.

The new evidence comes from a neutron star that repeatedly gobbled material from a neighboring star. The neutron star rapidly cooled off after its meals, scientists determined. X-rays emitted by the neutron star showed that the fast cooldown rate was consistent with a theorized effect called the direct Urca process, in which neutrinos quickly ferry energy away from a collapsed star, astrophysicist Edward Brown and colleagues

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