Recently Discovered Neutron Star Is Almost Too Massive to Exist
by Jason Daley Smithsonian.com
Astronomers at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia have located the most massive neutron star on record, so dense that it may be close to the cusp of collapsing into a black hole.
Neutron stars are one of the evolutionary end points for high-mass stars. After they’ve spent most of their nuclear fuel near the end of their lives, the stars explode in bright supernovas, leaving behind an ultra-dense core of material. If that core is of a certain mass, it becomes a neutron star under the pressure of gravity. If it’s beyond a certain mass, it will collapse into a black hole. But researchers aren’t exactly sure of the dividing line between the two—yet.
Astronomers are interested in neutron stars for various reasons. Most of these dense stars are less than 15 miles in diameter, but a single sugar cube worth of the star would weigh 100 million tons here on Earth. Certain neutron stars called pulsars emit beams of radio waves from their magnetic poles and rotate at a steady rate, which is why astronomers call them “cosmic lighthouses.”
In fact, the regularity of pulsars makes them useful in the hunt for elusive low-frequency gravitational waves.
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.