TIFR can now measure neutron stars
An international group lead by Sudip Bhattacharyya, a 36-year-old space scientist from the Tata Institute of Fundamental research (TIFR), has discovered a way to measure the size of neutron stars.
On an average, a neutron star is very small—approximately 10 km in diameter—and 10,000 light years away from earth, thus making it extremely difficult to study it and measure its size. The research of Bhattacharyya and his team revealed the unsuspected property of X-ray bursts given off by the stars, which led to the discovery that the pattern of X-rays generated might reveal their true size.
WHAT IS A NEUTRON STAR?
- A neutron star is the collapsed stage of a very massive star
- It is small, far away from earth, and the densest object in the universe—a teaspoon of neutron star matter would weigh as much as a mountain
- Neutron stars are so bright that they can radiate as much X-ray energy in one minute as the amount of light radiated by the Sun in approximately one week
- there are between 100 million and 1,000 million neutron stars in the galaxy.
- It is extremely difficult to gauge the exact size of neutron stars because of their distance from the earth
- Sudip Bhattacharyya and his team did this by studying the pattern of X-ray bursts given off by the stars
- The team studied more than 900 bursts from 43 neutron stars through a Nasa satellite
The study could have far-reaching implications in areas like physics, astrophysics and in the field of nuclear reaction
some really fantastic news after many days!