An international research crew headed by members of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (AEI) has got new measurements of how big neutron stars are. To do so, they mixed a standard first-principles description of the unknown behavior of neutron star element with multi-messenger observations of the binary neutron star merger GW170817.
Their conclusions, which appeared in Nature Astronomy, are more strict by a factor of two than previous caps and show that a standard neutron star has a radius close to 11 kilometers.
They also discovered that neutron stars merging with black holes are often likely to be swallowed whole unless the black gap is small or rapidly rotating.
This means that while such mergers could be observable as gravitational-wave sources, they would disappear in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Neutron stars are compact, extremely dense remnants of supernova explosions. They’re about the size of a city with as much as twice the mass of our Sun. How the neutron-rich, massively dense matter behaves is unknown, and it is unimaginable to mimic such conditions in any laboratory on Earth.
Physicists have drafted various models; however, it’s unknown which of those models appropriately explain neutron star matter in nature.
The research staff utilized a model based on a first-principles description of how subatomic particles interact at the high densities observed inside neutron stars.