How Dense and Long-lived Are Neutron Stars?

In summary, neutron stars have masses around 1.5 times that of the sun and are held up by neutron degeneracy pressure. They can cool over time but there is no known limit to their lifespan. They are very dense and have a typical size of 10 kilometers.
  • #1
boy genius
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what mass does a neutron star hove and what is its life span?

and any other information on the subject would not go un-apiretiated
 
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  • #2
boy genius said:
what mass does a neutron star hove and what is its life span?

Neutron stars typically have masses around 1.5 times the mass of the sun (~3 x 1030 kilograms). This is because there is a mass known as the "Chandrasekhar mass" beyond which electron degeneracy pressure (see this thread for a description of degeneracy pressure) cannot hold a star up from gravity. This mass is around 1.4 times the mass of the sun. Once it's passed, the electrons and protons undergo inverse beta decay and form neutrons. This leads to a star that is instead held up by neutron degeneracy pressure, called a neutron star. There is also a mass beyond which neutron degeneracy pressure will fail and the object will collapse to a black hole, but we don't know the exact value of this mass. From observations, we think it's less than 2 times the mass of the sun.

As far as I know, there's no limit to how long they can live, but they will cool over time, radiating away their thermal energy. They're very dense and their sizes are typically around 10 kilometers.
 
  • #3


A neutron star is a type of compact star that is formed from the remnants of a massive star's core collapse. It is incredibly dense, with a mass of about 1.4 to 3 times the mass of the Sun, packed into a sphere with a diameter of only about 20 kilometers. This means that a neutron star can have a mass that is several times greater than the Sun, but is only the size of a small city.

As for its lifespan, neutron stars are estimated to have a very long lifespan, with some theories suggesting that they can exist for trillions of years. However, their actual lifespan is difficult to determine as they have only been observed for a relatively short period of time. It is believed that eventually, neutron stars will cool down and become dark, cold objects known as black dwarfs, but this process could take billions of years.

Neutron stars are also known for their incredibly strong magnetic fields, which can be trillions of times stronger than Earth's magnetic field. These strong magnetic fields can cause the star to emit beams of radiation, which can be observed as pulsating signals from Earth. This is why neutron stars are also known as pulsars.

In addition to their interesting properties, neutron stars also play a crucial role in the universe as they are responsible for producing heavy elements through the process of neutron capture. This means that neutron stars are essential in the creation of elements such as gold, platinum, and uranium.

Overall, neutron stars are fascinating objects with extreme properties and a long lifespan, making them a subject of great interest for scientists and astronomers.
 

Related to How Dense and Long-lived Are Neutron Stars?

1. What is a neutron star?

A neutron star is a highly dense celestial object that is formed when a massive star collapses in on itself during a supernova explosion. It is composed almost entirely of neutrons and has a diameter of only about 10-20 kilometers.

2. How much mass does a neutron star have?

The mass of a neutron star can vary, but it is typically around 1.4 times the mass of our sun. This is extremely dense, as all that mass is packed into a relatively small space.

3. How long do neutron stars live?

Neutron stars have incredibly long lifetimes, estimated to be around 100 trillion years. However, they gradually cool down and no longer emit detectable radiation after about 10 million years.

4. Why do neutron stars spin so fast?

When a star collapses into a neutron star, its rotational momentum is conserved, causing it to spin rapidly. Some neutron stars can rotate hundreds of times per second, making them one of the fastest spinning objects in the universe.

5. Can neutron stars become black holes?

Yes, if a neutron star gains enough mass, it can collapse further into a black hole. This can happen through accretion, where the neutron star accumulates mass from a companion star, or through a collision with another neutron star.

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