March 1, 2020 100

The life cycle of a neutron star – David Lunney

The life cycle of a neutron star – David Lunney

About once every century, a massive star somewhere in our galaxy runs out of fuel. This happens after millions of years
of heat and pressure have fused the star’s hydrogen into heavier elements like helium,
carbon, and nitrogen— all the way to iron. No longer able to produce sufficient
energy to maintain its structure, it collapses under its own gravitational
pressure and explodes in a supernova. The star shoots most of its
innards into space, seeding the galaxy with heavy elements. But what this cataclysmic eruption leaves
behind might be even more remarkable: a ball of matter so dense that
atomic electrons collapse from their quantum orbits
into the depths of atomic nuclei. The death of that star
is the birth of a neutron star: one of the densest known objects
in the universe, and a laboratory for the strange physics
of supercondensed matter. But what is a neutron star? Think of a compact ball inside of which
protons and electrons fuse into neutrons and form a frictionless liquid
called a superfluid— surrounded by a crust. This material is incredibly dense – the equivalent of the mass of a
fully-loaded container ship squeezed into a human hair, or the mass of Mount Everest
in a space of a sugar cube. Deeper in the crust, the neutron
superfluid forms different phases that physicists call “nuclear pasta,” as it’s squeezed from lasagna
to spaghetti-like shapes. The massive precursors to
neutron stars often spin. When they collapse, stars that are typically millions of
kilometers wide compress down to neutron stars that are
only about 25 kilometers across. But the original star’s angular
momentum is preserved. So for the same reason that a figure
skater’s spin accelerates when they bring in their arms, the neutron star spins much more
rapidly than its parent. The fastest neutron star on record
rotates over 700 times every second, which means that a point on its surface
whirls through space at more than a fifth
of the speed of light. Neutron stars also have the strongest
magnetic field of any known object. This magnetic concentration
forms vortexes that radiate beams
from the magnetic poles. Since the poles aren’t always aligned
with the rotational axis of the star, the beams spin like lighthouse beacons, which appear to blink
when viewed from Earth. We call those pulsars. The detection of one of these
tantalizing flashing signals by astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell in 1967 was in fact the way we indirectly
discovered neutron stars in the first place. An aging neutron star’s furious rotation
slows over a period of billions of years as it radiates away its energy in the form
of electromagnetic and gravity waves. But not all neutron stars
disappear so quietly. For example, we’ve observed binary systems where a neutron star
co-orbits another star. A neutron star can feed on
a lighter companion, gorging on its more
loosely bound atmosphere before eventually collapsing
cataclysmically into a black hole. While many stars exist as binary systems, only a small percentage of those end up
as neutron-star binaries, where two neutron stars circle each other
in a waltz doomed to end as a merger. When they finally collide, they send
gravity waves through space-time like ripples from a stone
thrown into a calm lake. Einstein’s theory of General Relativity predicted this phenomenon over 100 years
ago, but it wasn’t directly verified until 2017, when gravitational-wave observatories
LIGO and VIRGO observed a neutron star collision. Other telescopes picked up a burst of
gamma rays and a flash of light, and, later, x-rays and radio signals,
all from the same impact. That became the most studied event
in the history of astronomy. It yielded a treasure trove of data that’s helped pin down the speed
of gravity, bolster important theories
in astrophysics, and provide evidence for the origin
of heavy elements like gold and platinum. Neutron stars haven’t given up
all their secrets yet. LIGO and VIRGO are being upgraded
to detect more collisions. That’ll help us learn what else the spectacular demise of these dense,
pulsating, spinning magnets can tell us about the universe.

100 Replies to “The life cycle of a neutron star – David Lunney”

  • caatabatic says:

    wait so when they die of spinning… they are still just sitting there tho right? just cold?

  • Platinum Ninja says:

    Shoud i do neutron stars for my school project?

  • fenixmaker says:

    Solar winds are blowing

    Neutron star controlling

    All is lost, doomed and tossed, at what cost forever.

  • Student Owen Cross says:

    Heh… seeding

  • Sergio Specalsiki says:

    Neutron stars are not real….. watch The Electric Universe Theory for real science.

  • Doge Burial investigation says:

    Why no hypernova

  • Mathieu Mansire says:

    they also perfectly flat hightest "mountains" there are a few atoms high

  • Jyothi Sargur says:

    For an Answer to this question just ask the dwarves living in a dying neutron star

  • Max Hill says:


  • tim combs says:

    i have 2 questions
    1. what is the approximate chance that a neutron star will be shot/slung out of its stellar position upon collapse
    2. if a pair of neutron stars were to collide on a sheer angle at great enough velocity , could they, on impact, fracture and the fractured parts fly apart or smear like 2 high pressure water droplets. would the fractured segments retain their density or expand into a less dense material? heres hoping for an answer 🙂

  • Sven says:

    Spoiler alert: stars not be alive

  • Remigijus Tania Vindasius says:

    If there is neutron stars…

    Are there neutron planets?

  • Marcelo Abreu says:

    Muito legal o vídeo.. adorei … parabéns 👍👏👍👏👍👏👏👏👏

  • Shubham Sharma says:

    I've a doubt, since in neutron stars protons & electrons are squeezed so tightly that they get fused into neutrons, how could they produce magnetic fields, uh, those vortexes? I mean, magnetic fields are produced by accelerating "charges", but, we've no charges in Neutron stars. Your reply will be appreciated, correct me wherever I gone wrong 🙂

  • Meng Nigul says:

    1400 years ago, Pulsar mentioned in Holly Quran, Chapter 86:

    “ By the sky and the night comer
    And what can make you know what is the night comer?
    It is the piercing star …”

  • Nathan Espinosa says:

    Just wow

  • Bilegt-Ochir Byambasuren says:

    It's wrong it takes big stars billions of years to run out of feul(hydrgen and helium)

  • Dark Hood Chief says:

    The word lasagna made me hungry.

  • Jim Morrison says:

    If anyone wants to read a hard science fiction book involving a neutron star, check out Robert L. Forward's book Dragon's Egg. I enjoyed it.

  • General Kenobi says:

    Neutron Stars are firmed when a MASSive star dies

    Thanos: A soul for a soul

  • bigsmall246 says:

    Meanwhile all-for-profit companies like SpaceX are launching satellites to block observatories around the world.
    As if surface light pollution was not bad enough already.

  • PraWin Shidore says:

    Not just million km away, it's always beyond milky galaxy. I don't remember anything like this happen in our galaxy. 🤫

  • PraWin Shidore says:

    Don't trust USA will be sharing secrets of universe.

  • jeff medvin says:

    If you could lift the sugar cube of neutron star from the surface and carry it away, would it expand into the mountain?

  • Jared Solano says:

    What is thimble lol

  • Stephanie Young says:

    Make a video about massive stars lalalala lalalala

  • Alex w/ Alexa plays! says:

    That’s Betelgeuse.

  • Klimesh Ghimire says:

    mount everest is in nepal and it is the highest peak of the world

    ikr 😅😅😆

  • Doc Holiday says:

    Speed of gravity is 3c times c.
    The collision sent a ripple though M11 on the power string side yielding a speed of light data result.
    Understandable mistake

  • Matt Harding says:

    Maths, Science, History, unravelling the mystery, that all started with the big bang.

  • _TideHunter _ says:

  • BronzeJourney says:

    Wait, gravity has a speed?

  • rimg mwaster says:

    God the visuals in this video are more amazing than ever. Props to JodyPrody

  • Athena Chi says:

    You know it's good when they begin it with a Neil deGrasse Tyson quote

  • Gaurav Gupta says:

    Well, magnetars have stronger magnetic fields.
    Please rectify

  • Yang Fan says:


  • ChummyChutoy says:

    That endshot tho

  • Akshay Raj says:

    What a spectacular video this is thanks Ted x

  • Clint Wolf says:

    Thanks for this great, very interesting video.

  • Havoc YT says:

    Nuclear Pasta, as it's squeezed from lasagna to spaghetti-like shapes
    Pewds enters my room
    B***H Lasagna

  • narak leduop says:

    Wow, this is the place to be, to grasp difficult physics concepts explained in layman terms!

  • Mr_Wiggles says:


  • Ruadhagain says:

    4:04 LOL

  • Tomas Molina says:

    how can neutrons create magnetic fields?
    Or, is this "proton+electron" different from a genuine neutron?

  • Death Merchant says:

    Really poorly done with very little of the available info about neutron stars even given. 18,000 + likes just shows the lack of standards people expect now. How very very sad for the world.

  • Wayne Morgan says:

    in 3:55 I don't know if that planet is

  • Goran B says:

    It radiates away its energy in the form of EM and gravity waves. How can it radiate its energy in the form of gravity waves without collision? In that case every star/planet would radiate away its energy in the form of gravity waves?

  • pix animation says:

    Even sun`s are idel game

  • PirateHunterOP says:

    Quran 86:1
    By the sky and the night comer
    And what can make you know what is the night comer?
    It is the piercing star -…

  • L.Govinda Sahu says:

    Fantastic ..

  • S Bedollar says:

    I'm not scientists, but I believe neutron stars don't exist. It's just a fantasy in somebody's mind. They haven't been able to locate a single start with millions of galaxies. I still remember when scientists were talking about nuclear reactors and how they were supposed to provide endless amounts of energy for generations to come. It turn out to be nothing more nothing less than a big pile of B.S.

  • Scrappy ChildHood says:

    Explain new Discovery of Dwarf star merger generating brand new star and resurrecting a star in processes only way to see it is infrared please do video on merger of Dwarf star and Neutron star. We have not discovered Neutron star merger yet.

  • Alberto Gonzalez says:

    Space is fake

  • Kid old age says:

    Just seen this phenomenon when randomly watching the sky. A star appeared from no where, made a flash and vanished.. I was looking the sky and nothing else appeared after 5 minutes..

  • Sapo says:

    Innards? Are you from the south? Edit: Why don't you do a video that isn't directed toward 12-year olds? Teach! Don't "educate"…

  • John Raley says:

    Supernovas only occur around once every century!? I actually thought they were more common.

  • SonOfTerra92 says:

    Some of them collide with other neutron stars which is crazy.

  • SonOfTerra92 says:

    No mention of MSP ?

  • Jon V. says:


  • Transpower says:

    Actually, pulsars are not comprised of neutrons; they are comprised of regular atoms, just like white dwarf stars. The gravitational segregation in these stars are inverse to that of normal stars; the heavier elements are at and just below the surface; the H and He are in the interior. Ultimately, with enough translational speed, the pulsars can leave our Galaxy and enter the cosmic sector. Study the Reciprocal System and prove it for yourself.

  • James Johnson says:

    When two neutron stars collide it's called a hypernova.

  • simple31 J says:

    Neutrons have no charge, so how is it a neutron star can be magnetic? Should have explained that.

  • Cheeseburger Monkey says:

    if its too dense
    strange matter occurs

  • Garga mel says:

    Sizin Ben ananızı sikim

  • Harlex says:

    rotating 700 times per seconds WTF!

  • Cankat Ergün says:

    Can the collapse of two neutron stars form a blackhole ? Or is it have to be a neutron star and a lighter normal star?

  • MaestrO Frags says:

    Search out النجم الطارق on google .

  • Raezores says:

    How to become one with yourself.

  • navidski says:

    The most amazing thing in this video for me was the fact, that Einstein had predicted this OVER a hundred years ago! What a genius. He must be the greatest scientist, who ever lived and as time goes by, it will be more evident.

  • Undefind says:

    A neutron star is made of neutrons with a neutral, or zero exectric charge. Where does any non zero magnetic field come from, much less the strongest magnetic field of any object?

  • Star Citizen 890J says:

    So if a star does not have enough energy and falls in on it’s self. Where does the energy for the actual supernova explosion 💥 come from?

  • yanzy potenciando says:

    I Learned many things on this, Than school :/

  • smart creeper says:

    neutron star or white dwarf?

  • ᄋᄋ says:

    0:22 칼슘이 아니라 탄소입니다 수정부탁드려요

  • Sue Moon says:

    That means the fastest neutron star span 22120 times while i was watching the video.

  • J D says:

    You don't really explain the life cycle.
    What happens to the neutron star as it cools? What is left?? A huge Rocky molten planet? It's technically not a star anymore so no fusion, but that immense gravity would cause the planet to be molten right?
    Do we know of any dead neutron stars?

  • Yuki says:

    Amazing got real respect

  • Neon Gaming says:

    I’m having an existential crisis

  • William Thompson says:

    Nuclear pasta! Sounds tasty 😋

    This makes me hungry 🤤

  • Lenny1423 says:

    Actually it's spaghetti and then lasagna

  • John Graboski says:

    How a single neutron star ends

  • SuccessBasis says:

    700 rotations per second. I can't even imagine it. Something so massive.

  • CG Account says:

    Everyone tells of their magnetic fields but they don't mention why an object made of neutral particles has a magnetic field

  • Ze Frendly Medic says:

    Dude…. just refuel.

  • MJ Van der Merwe says:

    What if two active stars colide

  • YuRi YuZi says:

    Can you upload white dwarfs?



  • Elon Tusk says:

    Is it true Mjölnir made of the heart of a neutron star?

  • S says:

    It's a very very short life! Easy, it does not exist. It's a mathemagical fantasy.

  • SolarPie says:

    Turn into strange star

  • TheJuggtron says:

    @3:54 – gravitational waves, not gravity waves (that's an unrelated phenomena)

  • Dave Ridlespriger 2 says:


  • Erick Rodriguez says:

    This video a bit inaccurate compared to several other videos on Youtube..

  • Alexandar Narayan says:

    why would 280 people downvote this video — there's nothing wrong here

  • Jesus’s Eternal Son says:

    Isaiah 66
    5Hear the word


    of the Lord. you who tremble at his word:


    “Your own people who hate you,


    and exclude you because of my name,


    have said,
    ‘Let the Lord be glorified,

    John 17:1
    After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

    that we may see your joy!’

    Isaiah 61:3
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

    Yet they will be put to shame.

    6Hear that uproar from the city,
    hear that noise from the temple!
    It is the sound of the Lord
    repaying his enemies all they deserve.
    7“Before she goes into labor,

    Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

    she gives birth;


    before the pains come upon her,

    Ecclesiastes 11:6

    she delivers a son.



    How did she make it huh 🤔

    No one said she makes them but delivered.

    Psalm 87

    1 Corinthians 14:19

    Holy Emanuela
    Holy Edona
    Holy Ariel
    John 1:16

    Isaiah 48

    Stubborn Israel

    1“Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob,
    you who are called by the name of Israel
    and come from the line of Judah,
    you who take oaths in the name of the Lord
    and invoke the God of Israel—
    but not in truth or righteousness—
    2you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city
    and claim to rely on the God of Israel—
    the Lord Almighty is his name:
    3I foretold the former things long ago,
    my mouth announced them and I made them known;
    then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
    4For I knew how stubborn you were;
    your neck muscles were iron,
    your forehead was bronze.
    5Therefore I told you these things long ago;
    before they happened I announced them to you
    so that you could not say,
    ‘My images brought them about;
    my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
    6You have heard these things; look at them all.
    Will you not admit them?
    “From now on I will tell you of new things,
    of hidden things unknown to you.
    7They are created now, and not long ago;
    you have not heard of them before today.
    So you cannot say,
    ‘Yes, I knew of them.’
    8You have neither heard nor understood;
    from of old your ears have not been open.
    Well do I know how treacherous you are;
    you were called a rebel from birth.
    9For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath;
    for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
    so as not to destroy you completely.
    10See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
    I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
    11For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
    How can I let myself be defamed?
    I will not yield my glory to another.

    Israel Freed

    12“Listen to me, Jacob,
    Israel, whom I have called:
    I am he;
    I am the first and I am the last.
    13My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,
    and my right hand spread out the heavens;
    when I summon them,
    they all stand up together.
    14“Come together, all of you, and listen:
    Which of the idols has foretold these things?
    The Lord’s chosen ally
    will carry out his purpose against Babylon;
    his arm will be against the Babylonians. a
    15I, even I, have spoken;
    yes, I have called him.
    I will bring him,
    and he will succeed in his mission.
    16“Come near me and listen to this:

    “From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret;
    at the time it happens, I am there.”
    And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me,
    endowed with his Spirit.
    17This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
    “I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you what is best for you,
    who directs you in the way you should go.
    18If only you had paid attention to my commands,
    your peace would have been like a river,
    your well-being like the waves of the sea.
    19Your descendants would have been like the sand,
    your children like its numberless grains;
    their name would never be blotted out
    nor destroyed from before me.”
    20Leave Babylon,
    flee from the Babylonians!
    Announce this with shouts of joy
    and proclaim it.
    Send it out to the ends of the earth;
    say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.”
    21They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow for them from the rock;
    he split the rock
    and water gushed out.
    22“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

  • gferrol118 says:

    It's the circle of life!

  • Dave Ridlespriger 2 says:

    Summon my armor

  • Oyun İzleyicisi says:

    Thank you for that video

  • Kevin Michael says:

    Gravitational waves not gravity waves.
    They are not the same

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