Colliding neutron stars

black_hole

NASA has released a stirring animation depicting the theoretical merger of two neutron stars. Once the stars merge, they form a black hole.

Neutron stars are super-dense remnants of dead high-mass stars. As the name suggests, they are comprised entirely of neutrons, which formed from the merging of protons and electrons during the gravitational collapse of a dying star’s core. Neutron stars have a theoretical upper limit to their mass, beyond which the rules of quantum physics dictate that the stars collapse into black holes. A merger is one way to have a neutron star exceed its theoretical mass limit.

Such mergers would release an enormous amount of energy, which could explain the origin of gamma ray bursts—mysterious flares of ultra-high energy that emanate from deep space.

Want to discuss this article? See 'Questions and Comments' for the rules.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s