Planetary scientists have found the most massive neutron star so far. A neutron star is nothing but a part of exploded stars, known as supernovas. If the size of remnant after the explosion of a supernova is unusually big, then it may transform into a black hole. The gravitation pull of transformed massive core is so powerful that it entraps even the light radiations.
The standard size of star remnants, which are termed as neutron stars, is 12 miles in diameter. Due to extreme gravitational pull and density, the mass of a small-sized neutron star is equivalent to that of the sun. Neutron stars, besides black holes, are the second densest matter in the Universe. The recently discovered massive spherical neutron star of 15-mile diameter, J0740+6620, is nearly 4,600 light-years from Earth and is more than two times heavier than our Sun. It rotates very fast around its axis and its magnetic poles emit dual beams of radio waves, owing to which it appears like a flashing lighthouse.
Researchers calculated the mass of that neutron star using the “Shapiro Delay” phenomenon. A white dwarf companion also co-orbits along with the neutron star and the distortion in space-time pulses caused by its gravitation pull is inversely proportional to the mass of the neutron star. Through these extremely short-term delays, around tens of millionths of a second, the researchers can calculate the mass of the neutron star.
On a related note, researchers have identified a rare molecule revolving in the gas and dust discs around a young star, HD 163296, by observing it using a radio telescope equipped in the Atacama Desert, Chile. This discovery could help to unlock several mysteries associated with space.
With the help of advanced radio telescope, the astronomers were able to spot a very faint signal exhibiting the presence of an unusual form of carbon monoxide, (13C17O).