Learning more about Neutron Stars

#NASA #SpaceX #star #Sun #NeutronStar #Xrays #space #NICER

The Space X Dragon cargo capsule will reach the International Space Station by Saturday, which is carrying an unusual telescope designed to look at neutron stars. A neutron star has a diameter of 15-16 kms, and has a mass of more than twice the mass of the Sun. It has such high density that, one teaspoon of the star will weigh 10 million tons.

NICER, a Neutron Star Composition Explorer, is not an optical telescope. Rather it is a one meter cube made with solid aluminum. The face has 56 holes drilled, and the instrument has its own array of special lenses that deflect x-rays and focus them towards sensors fixed on the inner wall.

The lenses are 24 concentric aluminum cylinders, coated with a thin layer of gold, and bent very slightly. X-rays are used to study the neutron star because the neutron star is glowing in x-ray light, and in order to look at the surface of the star for interior make up.

Read the full article here

Having twice the mass of Sun within a ball of diameter 16 kilometers. That is incredible, and very dense. It will be interesting to know more about neutron stars for sure. Does it happen to every star when it cools off and compresses?

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