An international team has discovered an exotic double object that consists of a tiny, but unusually heavy neutron star that spins 25 times each second, orbited every two and a half hours by a white dwarf star. The neutron star is a pulsar that is giving off radio waves that can be picked up on Earth by radio telescopes. Although this unusual pair is very interesting in its own right it is also a unique laboratory for testing the limits of physical theories.

This pulsar is named PSR J0348+0432 and is the remains of a supernova explosion. It is twice as heavy as the Sun, but just 20 kilometres across. The gravity at its surface is more than 300 billion times stronger than that on Earth and at its centre every sugar-cubed-sized volume has more than one billion tonnes of matter squeezed into it. Its companion white dwarf star is only slightly less exotic; it is the glowing remains of a much lighter star that has lost its atmosphere and is slowly cooling.

Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which explains gravity as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime created by the presence of mass and energy, has withstood all tests since it was first published almost a century ago. But it cannot be the final explanation and must ultimately break down. 

Full article (via ESO)

  1. roxan05 reblogged this from rorschachx
  2. coldsmog reblogged this from rorschachx
  3. verybluebirdy reblogged this from spookiceps
  4. jeromes-scrmeme reblogged this from rorschachx
  5. beardedmagenta-lion reblogged this from megacosms
  6. lime5652 reblogged this from rorschachx
  7. space5rson reblogged this from megacosms
  8. quantum-consciousness reblogged this from megacosms
  9. streaky-bacon reblogged this from megacosms
  10. magicaloctopus reblogged this from megacosms
  11. megacosms reblogged this from rorschachx
  12. dantebellarix reblogged this from rorschachx
  13. myblackeyeddemon reblogged this from rattyrattyjo
  14. rattyrattyjo reblogged this from rorschachx
  15. selimrefitrom reblogged this from rorschachx
  16. brindi91402 reblogged this from rorschachx and added:
    Neat
  17. malory22 reblogged this from rorschachx
  18. noeticism reblogged this from rorschachx
  19. laquotarosa reblogged this from rorschachx
  20. rikonius reblogged this from persephone977
  21. persephone977 reblogged this from rorschachx
  22. kitkatinahat reblogged this from rorschachx