First identification of a heavy element born from neutron star collision

For the first time, a freshly made heavy element, strontium, has been detected in space, in the aftermath of a merger of two neutron stars. This finding was observed by ESO’s X-shooter spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and is published today in Nature. The detection confirms that the heavier elements in the Universe … Read more First identification of a heavy element born from neutron star collision

The irresistible pull – when massive stars collide

All neutron stars are magnetic, but some are more magnetic than others. The latter, so-called magnetars, are the strongest magnets in the Universe. The reason for their exceptionally large magnetic field is most probably that they formed in supernovae of already highly magnetized stars. But how do these massive stars acquire their large magnetic field? … Read more The irresistible pull – when massive stars collide

WVU astronomers help detect the most massive neutron star ever measured

West Virginia University researchers have helped discover the most massive neutron star to date, a breakthrough uncovered through the Green Bank Telescope in Pocahontas County. The neutron star, called J0740+6620, is a rapidly spinning pulsar that packs 2.17 times the mass of the sun (which is 333,000 times the mass of the Earth) into a … Read more WVU astronomers help detect the most massive neutron star ever measured

Glitch in neutron star reveals its hidden secrets

Neutron stars are not only the most dense objects in the Universe, but they rotate very fast and regularly. Until they don’t. Occasionally these neutron stars start to spin faster, caused by portions of the inside of the star moving outwards. It’s called a “glitch” and it provides astronomers a brief insight into what lies … Read more Glitch in neutron star reveals its hidden secrets