Updated date:

What Is Inside of Neutron Stars?

This article is made by me. I like science and I want to share some of my knowledge about it. Learning new concepts makes us smarter.

About neutron stars

Alot of people call neutron stars corpses of dead stars. Neutron stars are more known under another name, pulsars. They shine really dimly, but their "tail", the pulsing part, can be seeing across astronomical units. The basics of the neutron stars is this: a large star fuses elements in it's core, sometimes ripping atoms apart and releasing neutrons out of the nucleus, when star can't fuse anymore, it's outer layer push in, the insides experience pressure and when the pressure gets too great they push back. The coronal layer goes outwards, making the star look expanded. The neutrons get pushed inside by bumping into the coronal shell and form a star.

So, that's the basics. The star formed is extremely dense, a popular comparison is mount Everest in a sugar cube in a cup of tea. The pressure inside is very high, neutrons push on other neutrons that get pushed from all the sides. The star is held together by the strong gravity. To understand how can the gravity hold against a pressure so high, imagine a 2 dimensional sun visualization with all the layers visible. The gravitational pool created by a particle becomes shallower to the edges, which means the particles in the core won't have as much effect on outside objects, as coronal layer particles. The closer the particle is to the object, the more effect it has, the closer the object to the particle, the more effect the particle has. But with supermassive stars the object can't get too close to the particles near the core without becoming a part of the star, neutron stars however, are more dense, it's the same mass but the star is smaller. It's almost as if the particle moved closer to the core. The outward pressure gets cancelled out by gravity, because every particle affects every particle with it's gravitational space-time curve, but the outward push force becomes smaller with distance faster.

If the gravity overpowers, usually the pressure on the core particles makes them push back and some of the outer shell particles get spewed out. Same with pressure, the particles push on each other too much and some of them get spewed out, creating more space in the gravitational globe for "everybody". The neutron star isn't actually stable most of the time. Usually one force overpowers the other and some matter gets spewed out, that's how neutron stars decay.

The light itself comes from the heat formed by pressures inside the star.

The outer layer shell is especially thick. Alot of particles push outward, and little particles push into the opposite direction. But gravity is strong enough to hold them, so they push back, then get pushed back, the particles they pushed come closer to other particles and get pushed, but then they get pushed inwards again and don't quite go anywhere, forming an especially dense shell.

The pressures in the core are speculated to rip gluons off of quarks creating a quark soup. There are theoretical conditions where a self-sustainable process begins converting most of the star except the close-outer shell layers and the outer shell itself by creating ever-increasing pressures, forming a what's knows as a quark star. The quark stars make bigger explosions and shine 5%-20% brighter, rather minor effects.

The light created by neutron stars is so dim, that using it for energy collection (ex. a dyson sphere) isn't going to be very affective, but it is going to be efficient.

The neutron star trail (tail) itself is high radioactive, potentially being an energy source from low-spin neutron stars. The trail (tail) itself is created by a stream of very fast accelerated particles.

Neutron stars are very unusual. There are many things that could collapse a neutron star. While being internally stable, they aren't very externally stable, meaning an outside object could potentially start a chain reaction that can lead to star being unstable and collapsing.

If the gravitational force overpowers by a large margin, the star will be compressed untill it becomes somewhat stable again and gravitational force evens out with pressure, creating a black hole.

I hope you learned something new and this article has made you smarter, by which I mean the brain information processing speed and the amount of things you can process at once without sacrificing speed. Tell your friends what you know about neutron stars, and stay learnive!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Bob Ribbenz


Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 13, 2021:

Informative. Thanks. Keep on writing.