This is the most massive neutron star and has just been discovered: it has 333,000 times the mass of the Earth

Detected approximately 4,600 light years from Earth thanks to the observations of the Green Bank telescope, the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center has described in a recent study published in Nature which is the most massive neutron star known.

Call J0740 + 6620, it is a rapidly rotating pulsar that contains 2.17 times the mass of the sun (which is 333,000 times the mass of the Earth) in a sphere of only 20-30 kilometers.

Black hole

Neutron stars are the compressed remains of massive stars that have become supernova.

Beyond the sensation of having reached a record, J0740 + 6620 shows how far it can become a single object without becoming a black hole. What is the turning point when gravity overcomes matter and forms a black hole?


To assimilate to what extent this star is massive, a fragment of a neutron star the size of a lump of sugar (about a cubic centimeter) it contains the same amount of mass as the entire human population. And gravitational temporal dilation causes the time on the surface of a neutron star to run 30% slower than on Earth.

Pulsar mass was measured through a phenomenon known as the Shapiro Effect. In a nutshell, the gravity of a white dwarf companion star deforms the surrounding space, according to Einstein's general theory of relativity. This makes the pulses of the pulsar travel a little more as they travel through distorted spacetime around the white dwarf. This delay tells them the mass of the white dwarf, which in turn provides a measurement of the neutron star's mass.

Video: We Just Discovered The Most Massive Neutron Star Ever (February 2020).