ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What are Neutron Stars?

Updated on July 25, 2014
Artist's impression of a Neutron Star
Artist's impression of a Neutron Star | Source

What actually is a Neutron Star?

A neutron star is the result of one of the final stages of a massive star's life. It is a small stellar remnant that is incredibly dense yet small. To give you an idea of its density, a typical neutron star is around 260,000,000,000,000 to 410,000,000,000,000 times the density of the Sun. However, the Sun's radius is around 60,000 times bigger than a typical neutron star - the equivalent of squashing a Boeing 747 into the size of a sugar cube. The incredibly dense nature of this bizarre phenomenon causes untold effects on the surrounding area, and causes the dead star to have amazing properties. For example, a neutron stars density causes its gravitational pull to be so strong, that any matter that got affected by its gravitational field it would be accelerated at an insane speed towards the star. The immense force caused by the impact would obliterate the object, rendering all the matter identical as it becomes single neutrons and protons. In fact, the pull of gravity on a neutron star is so strong that you'd need to travel at 100,000 km/s in order to escape, provided you hadn't yet been reduced to nothingness.

Artist Impression of a Pulsar
Artist Impression of a Pulsar | Source

Neutron stars are fantastically strange, with a gravitational field 200,000,000,000 times that of the Earth, these bad boys cause some unique occurrences in the cosmos. They rotate incredibly fast too, moving at almost 700 revolutions per second. This, coupled with the large gravitational and magnetic fields of the star, creates a giant electric generator, pulsing electrical currents in all directions as it spins. This is called a pulsar. The energy present on neutron stars is so high that if you were to drop a marshmallow onto one, it would have the same energy as an atomic bomb. The stars also fire huge jets of gamma rays when something collides with them, e.g. asteroids. The gamma rays are so strong and intense that if such an outburst happened in our galaxy it could cause mass extinction on earth, with an equivalent of over 1,000,000 atomic bombs going off at once.

Earthquakes on Neutron Stars

Some Neutron stars have magnetic fields around a quadrillionth the size of the Earth's. These are called Magnetars and this kind of field causes a tremendous strain on the crust of the star. This can, on rare occasion, cause the crust of the star to crack, and cause an Earthquake (or Magnetarquake if you're being picky). Despite Magnetars, like other Neutron Stars, having a diameter of around 20 kilometres, these earthquakes are some of the most violent events in the universe.

There are approximately 2000 known neutron stars in our galaxy, and it's incredible to think that such amazing phenomena are just out there in our neighbour hood. Neutron stars are incredible fascinating, creating environments we couldn't dream of ever reproducing on Earth and intriguing scientists for years. We are still discovering new things about them each year, as we are with the universe around us and its exciting to think of what we'll learn next about the seemingly stranger world we live in.

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this you may also like:

R136a1 - The Most Massive Star Known

5 Foods We Often Eat That Are Poisonous


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)