Skywatch

  • March 29, 2007

    Episode 91: Out for a Spin

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    Shownotes

    One of the strangest objects we know of is a neutron star, which forms upon the death of a star about twice the mass of the Sun. At the end of its life, the massive star collapses into a tiny object just 6-12 miles (10-20 km) in diameter. Because so much mass is crushed into such a small space, neutron stars are incredibly dense. A thimbleful of neutron star material weighs a hundred million tons. Neutron stars are often found spinning, and can emit X-rays as they spin. A recently discovered neutron star called XTE J1739-285 appears to be the fastest spinning neutron star known. It spins 1122 times every second.