Scientists say they have discovered a spinning neutron star or pulsar, that’s so densely compacted, it could be right on the limit of what is possible. It may exist precariously at the tipping point where any more pressure would trigger it to break down entirely and type a new black hole.
Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia using by A team of astronomers discovered that the rapidly rotating pulsar, known as J0740+6620, is the most massive neutron star ever measured.
A neutron star is a very bizarre cosmic object that is the highly compressed remnant of a massive star after it has gone via a supernova explosion.
Neutron stars have this tipping point in which their interior densities get so big that the force of gravity overcomes even the power of neutrons to withstand further collapse, mentioned Scott Ransom, (NRAO).
Every ‘most massive’ neutron star we discover brings us closer to recognizing that tipping point and helping us to study the physics of matter at these mind-boggling densities
To begin to think about the density, picture our sun, which has 333,000 times as much mass because of the Earth. Now think about the solar has a twin and this pair of twins has somewhat sister named Proxima Centauri, the nearest star beyond the sun; she’s a red dwarf star with a mass that is roughly one-sixth that of the sun.
Also, think about you might take all three of these stars and run them via the biggest compactor within the universe, smashing them down to create an exotic object that is the dimension of a sphere only 19 miles across (30 km).
Put even more simply; it is like taking those three massive stars and compressing them down to be roughly the size of the city of Denver.
The measurement of this neutron star came as part of NRAO’s search for gravitational waves.
Neutron stars and pulsars are probably the densest “normal” objects that we know. The only thing denser is a black hole, which is not normal. As such, this particular pulsar discovery is as close as we have ever come to defining the line between the ordinary and the most puzzling, mysterious, and exotic objects in existence.