Neutron Stars, Pulsars, and Magnetars are the most extreme objects in the Universe that aren't Black Holes. Their extreme densities make neutron stars the densest solid bodies in the Universe ultra-powerful magnetic fields. When these fields sweep along our line of sight, we see them as Pulsars. Some Pulsars have have extremely strong magnetic fields. We call these objects Magnetars. And when a Magnetar has a star quake, the most violent explosions this side of a Supernova take place. 🔔 Subscribe for more: : 🖖 Share this video with a fellow space traveler 🔴 Watch my most recent upload: 🚀 Help me improve the channel by joining the community on Patreon 🚀 Check out Launch Pad merchandise! Disclaimer: Some of these links go to one of my websites and some are affiliate links where I'll earn a small commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. ✅ Let's connect: For business inquiries - Twitter - @launchpadastro Instagram - @launchpadastro Facebook - Discord -
For about a century now, scientists have theorized that the metals in our Universe are the result of stellar
nucleosynthesis . This theory states that after the first stars formed, heat and pressure in their interiors led to the creation of heavier elements like silicon and iron. These elements not only enriched future generations of stars (“metallicity”), but also provided the material from which the planets formed.
An artist’s conception of two neutron stars, moments before they collide. Credit: NASA
Astronomers have spotted Strontium in the aftermath of a collision between two neutron stars. This is the first time a heavy element has ever been identified in a kilonova, the explosive aftermath of these types of collisions. The discovery plugs a hole in our understanding of how heavy elements form.
This chart shows the sprawling constellation of Hydra (The Female Sea Serpent), the largest and longest constellation in the sky. Most stars visible to the naked eye on a clear dark night are shown. The red circle marks the position of the galaxy NGC 4993, which became famous in August 2017 as the site of the first gravitational wave source that was also identified in light visible light as the kilonova GW170817. NGC 4993 can be seen as a very faint patch with a larger amateur telescope. Image Credit: ESO, IAU and Sky & Telescope
This artist’s impression shows two tiny but very dense neutron stars merging and exploding as a kilonova. Such objects are the main source of very heavy chemical elements, such as gold and platinum, in the Universe. The detection of one element, strontium (Sr), has now been confirmed using data from the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. : More information and download options
This animation is based on a series of spectra of the kilonova in NGC 4993 observed by the X-shooter instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. They cover a period of 12 days after the initial explosion on 17 August 2017. The kilonova is very blue initially but then brightens in the red and fades. More information: Credit: ESO/E. Pian et al./S. Smartt & ePESSTO/L. Calçada
On 17 August 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Virgo Interferometer both detected gravitational waves from the collision between two neutron stars. Within 12 hours observatories had identified the source of the event within the lenticular galaxy NGC 4993, shown in this image gathered with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The associated stellar flare, a kilonova, is clearly visible in the Hubble observations. This is the first time the optical counterpart of a gravitational wave event was observed. Hubble observed the kilonova gradually fading over the course of six days, as shown in these observations taken in between 22 and 28 August (insets). By ESA/Hubble, CC BY 4.0, Wikipedia location
Young stars are typically surrounded by a disk of gas and dust, called a protoplanetary disk. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Carl Sagan - Ep 9 - Stars - We Are Their Children
An artist’s impression of two white dwarfs in the process of merging. Depending on the combined mass, the system may explode in a thermonuclear supernova, or coalesce into a single heavy white dwarf, as with WDJ0551+4135. Image: Copyright University of Warwick/Mark Garlick
Artist’s Impression of the Herschel Space Telescope. Credit: ESA
Artist impression of colliding white dwarfs. Credit: CfA
An illustration of two white dwarfs on the brink of a merger. Material is starting to stream from one star to the other, beginning the process that may end with a spectacular supernova explosion. Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)
Artist’s impression of a supernova. If two white dwarfs are massive enough when they merge, they’ll explode as a supernova. Credit: NASA
Neutron stars are one of the most fascinating astronomical objects in the known Universe. In addition to being the densest type of star (with the possible exception of quark stars), they have also been known to form binary pairs with massive stars. To date, only 39 such systems have been discovered, and even fewer have been detected that were composed of a massive star and a very high energy (VHE) gamma-ray neutron star.
Artist’s impression of the exotic double object that consists of a tiny neutron star orbited by a more massive star. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada
Computer simulation of a very-high-energy gamma ray interacting in the atmosphere. Gamma rays above 100 GeV, giga electron volts, are produced near pulsars, neutron stars and super-massive black holes, and bombard Earth at a rate of about 100 million per second. The animation shows that a shower of high-energy particles (mostly electrons and positrons) is produced by the initial interaction of the gamma ray with a molecule in the atmosphere. Those particles that travel faster than the speed of light in air, emit a bluish light called Cherenkov light. Cherenkov light from gamma rays and other high-energy particles is detected by specialized ground-based telescopes, such as VERITAS, HESS, MAGIC, and CANGAROO in search of the origin of extreme cosmic particle accelerators.
Artist’s impression of the exotic double object that consists of a tiny neutron star orbited by a more massive star. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada
Neutron stars are the end-state of massive stars that have spent their fuel and exploded as supernovae. There’s an upper limit to their mass, because a massive enough star won’t become a neutron star; it’ll become a black hole. But finding that upper mass limit, or tipping point, between a star that becomes a black hole and one that becomes a neutron star, is something astronomers are still working on.
Artist impression of the pulse from a massive neutron star being delayed by the passage of a white dwarf star between the neutron star and Earth. Credit: BSaxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
Cross-section of a neutron star. Credit: Wikipedia Commons/Robert Schulze
How big is a neutron star? These extreme, ultra-dense collapsed stars are fairly small, as far as stellar objects are concerned. Even though they pack the mass of a full-sized star, their size is often compared to the width of a medium-to-large-sized city. For years, astronomers have pegged neutron stars at somewhere between 19-27 km (12 to 17 miles) across. This is quite actually quite precise, given the distances and characteristics of neutrons stars. But astronomers have been working to narrow that down to an even more precise measurement.
Afterglow of GW170817 is shown in close-ups captured by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope, showing it dimming in brightness over days and weeks. CREDIT: NASA and ESA: A. Levan (U. Warwick), N. Tanvir (U. Leicester), and A. Fruchter and O. Fox (STScI) The object of this team’s study is rather famous: the binary neutron star merger GW170817 which created the gravitational waves detected in 2017 by the LIGO (Laser-Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) and Virgo consortium. This object has been studied numerous times by multiple telescopes, including the Fermi satellite, the Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes and observatories around the world. All those observations gave the Max Planck team a boatload of data to work with.
Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars. The narrow beams represent the gamma-ray burst while the rippling spacetime grid indicates the isotropic gravitational waves that characterize the merger. Swirling clouds of material ejected from the merging stars are a possible source of the light that was seen at lower energies. Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet
Astronomers at Cardiff University have done something nobody else has been able to do. A team, led by Dr. Phil Cigan from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, has found the neutron star remnant from the famous supernova SN 1987A. Their evidence ends a 30 year search for the object.
A close-up view of different components in the SN 1987A system: carbon monoxide molecular gas is shown in orange, hot hydrogen gas is shown in purple, and the dust which surrounds the neutron star is shown in cyan. Credit Cardiff University
Artistic rendering of a neutron star enveloped by a shroud of dust and gas. Credit: Cardiff University
A 1987 image of SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud, taken by the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Image Credit: By NASA/Ames Research Center
A 2010 Hubble image of SN 1987A showing the expanding shock-wave of material, slamming into surrounding material and heating it up, causing it to shine. Image Credit: By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
The answers to many questions in astronomy are hidden behind the veil of deep time. One of those questions is around the role that supernovae played in the early Universe. It was the job of early supernovae to forge the heavier elements that were not forged in the Big Bang. How did that process play out? How did those early stellar explosions play out?
An artist’s illustration of the Universe’s first stars, called Population 3 stars. Pop 3 stars would have been much more massive than most stars today, and would have burned hot and blue. Their lifetimes would’ve been much shorter than stars like our Sun. Image Credit: Public Domain,
Recipe for a pair instability supernova. It is hypothesised that in extremely massive stars, gamma rays radiating from the core become so energetic that they can undergo pair production after interaction with a nucleus. Essentially, the gamma ray creates a paired particle and antiparticle (commonly an electron and a positron). The loss of radiation pressure as gamma rays convert to particles results in gravitational collapse of the star’s core – and kaboom! Credit:
A 3-D profile of a pair-instability supernovae. The blue cube shows the entire simulated space. Orange region is where nickel 56 decays. Image Credit: ASIAA/Ken Chen
A figure from the study. The team simulated three types of hypernovae, represented by the three columns. The rows are snapshots from the simulation at 20, 100, and 300 days. The red line in each image represents the shell of the hot Ni-56 bubble. The simulations showed that the expansion of the Ni-56 bubble doesn’t cause any mixing. The mixing in the U225 progenitor star, far right, is due to instabilities from the reverse shock. Image Credit: Chen et al, 202
Supernovae are some of the most powerful explosions in the Universe, releasing more energy in a moment than most stars will release in their entire lifetimes. Support us at: More stories at: Twitter: @universetoday Facebook: Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain Chad Weber - firstname.lastname@example.org Created by: Fraser Cain and Jason Harmer Edited by: Chad Weber Music: Left Spine Down - “X-Ray”
Two neutron stars. One is 50% more massive than the other, yet they are almost exactly the same size. The results have big implications for understanding what neutron stars are really made of.
Full podcast episodes: Support: @ Patreon Follow: @ Twitter and Follow: @ Facebook It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: What is a white dwarf? What is a neutron star? What is a black hole? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at and help support the show at Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology coming to #AskASpaceman for COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF TIME AND SPACE! Music by Jason Grady and Nick Bain.
When two neutron stars collide, it creates a kilonova. The event causes both gravitational waves and emissions of electromagnetic energy. In 2017 the LIGO-Virgo gravitational-wave observatories detected a merger of two neutron stars about 130 million light-years away in the galaxy NGC 4993. The merger is called GW170817, and it remains the only cosmic event observed in both gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation.
This is the first optical image ever to show an event initially detected as a Gravitational Wave (GW), designated GW170817, pictured left. Afterglow, designated as SSS17a, is left over from the explosion of two neutron stars that collided in galaxy NGC 4993 (shown centre). Only 10.9 hours after triggering the largest astronomical search in history, the Swope 1-m telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile discovered GW170817’s afterglow. Four days later, the image on the right shows afterglow dimming in brightness and changing from blue to red. CREDIT: Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution of Washington (Swope + Magellan)
On 17 August 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Virgo Interferometer detected gravitational waves from the collision between two neutron stars. Within 12 hours, observatories identified the event’s source within the lenticular galaxy NGC 4993, shown in this image gathered with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The associated stellar flare, a kilonova, is visible in the Hubble observations. This is the first time astronomers have observed the optical counterpart of a gravitational wave event. Hubble observed the kilonova gradually fading over six days, as shown in these observations taken between 22 and 28 August (insets). Image Credit: Hubble/NASA/ESA
Astrophysicists know that black holes emit electromagnetic radiation in x-ray wavelengths. The Chandra X-ray Observatory has imaged many of them. This Chandra image shows Centaurus A, which is not part of this study but is the site of a supermassive black hole, shining brightly. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Birmingham/M.Burke et al.
In 2019 a team of European researchers, using data from the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, found signatures of strontium formed in the GW170817 neutron-star merger. This artist’s impression shows two tiny but dense neutron stars when they merge and explode as a kilonova. In the foreground, we see a representation of freshly created strontium. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser
Dark energy is central to our modern theory of cosmology. We know the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, and the clearest explanation is that some kind of energy is driving it. Since this energy doesn’t emit light, we call it dark energy. But simply giving dark energy a name doesn’t mean we fully understand it. We can see what dark energy does, but its fundamental nature is perhaps the biggest scientific mystery we have.
In general relativity, acceleration is equivalent to gravity. Credit: Markus Poessel, via Wikipedia
A scalar field enhances some gravitational wave modes for merging neutron stars. Credit: Bezares, et al
Illustration showing the merger of two neutron stars. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Gravitational waves give a relation between neutron star mass and size. Credit: Pratten, et al
Artist's illustration of a bright gamma-ray burst occurring in a star-forming region and beaming out energy into two narrow, oppositely directed jets. Image Credit: By NASA/Swift/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith and John Jones - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by TheDJ using CommonsHelper. Public Domain, - Wikipedia
This artist’s impression shows two tiny but very dense neutron stars at the point at which they merge and explode as a kilonova. These events produce short gamma-ray bursts and gravitational waves. A new study shows that kilonovae can also produce long gamma-ray bursts like supernovae can. Image Credit: By University of Warwick/Mark Garlick, CC BY 4.0,
This illustration shows the setup for the most common type of gamma-ray burst. The core of a massive star (left) has collapsed and formed a black hole. This “engine” drives a jet of particles that moves through the collapsing star and out into space at nearly the speed of light. The prompt emission typically lasts a minute or less. The afterglow emission occurs as the leading edge of the jet sweeps up its surroundings (creating an external shock wave) and emits radiation across the spectrum for months or even years. Image Credit: By NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/ICRAR.
The Swift Observatory was launched in 2004 to study GRBs and their afterglow. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.
This figure from the study shows the GRB’s light curves observed by both the Swift Observatory and the Fermi Observatory. The bursts lasted longer than any other bursts from a kilonova. Image Credit: Rastinejad et al. 2022.
On Dec. 11, 2021, NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a blast of high-energy light from the outskirts of a galaxy around 1 billion light-years away. The event has rattled scientists’ understanding of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the most powerful events in the universe. This burst is called GRB 211211A. Many research groups have delved into the observations collected by Swift, Fermi, the Hubble Space Telescope, and others. Some have suggested the burst’s oddities could be explained by the merger of a neutron star with another massive object, like a black hole. Music Credits: Finished Plate by Airglo and Binary Fission by Tom Kane Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Sophia Roberts (AIMM): Lead Producer Jeanette Kazmierczak (University of Maryland College Park): Lead Science Writer Francis Reddy (University of Maryland College Park): Science Writer Aurore Simonet (Sonoma State University): Artist Scott Wiessinger (KBRwyle): Animator This video can be freely shared and downloaded at . While the video in its entirety can be shared without permission, the music and some individual imagery may have been obtained through permission and may not be excised or remixed in other products. Specific details on such imagery may be found here: . . --- If you liked this video, subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel: subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel: Follow NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center · Instagram · Twitter- NASA GODDARD · Twitter-NASA GODDARD PICS · Facebook: · Flickr
Two neutron stars begin to merge in this illustration, blasting a jet of high-speed particles and producing a cloud of debris. Scientists think these kinds of events are factories for a significant portion of the Universe’s heavy elements, including gold. Image Credit: A. Simonnet (Sonoma State Univ.) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
This image from the study shows the Hubble image of the galaxy that hosts it and the location of the GRB identified by the Swift X-Ray Telescope (XRT.) The zoomed-in boxes show observations with other telescopes and filters. Image Credit: Rastinejad et al. 2022.
Artist impression and animation of the Shapiro Delay. As the neutron star sends a steady pulse towards the Earth, the passage of its companion white dwarf star warps the space surrounding it, creating the subtle delay in the pulse signal. Credit: BSaxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
Information on Gas Dynamics of the Nickel-56 Decay Heating in Pair-instability Supernovae
Report on Identification of strontium in the merger of two neutron stars (PDF)
rach Watson1,2 , Camilla J. Hansen3,∗ , Jonatan Selsing1,2,∗ , Andreas Koch4 , Daniele B. Malesani1,2,5 , Anja C. Andersen1 , Johan P. U. Fynbo1,2 , Almudena Arcones6,7 , Andreas Bauswein7,8 , Stefano Covino9 , Aniello Grado10, Kasper E. Heintz1,2,11, Leslie Hunt12, Chryssa Kouveliotou13,14 Giorgos Leloudas1,5 , Andrew Levan15,16, Paolo Mazzali17,18, Elena Pian19 [See end of report for affiliations]
Information onThe emergence of a new source of X-rays from the binary neutron star merger GW170817 (PDF)
Impact of Dynamical Tides on the Reconstruction of the Neutron Star Equation of State (PDF)