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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Neutron Star Breaks Mass Record
27 October 2010 1:42 pm
A neutron star located 4000 light-years away has broken a record: It's nearly twice the mass of the sun and about 20% more massive than any neutron star measured before. Such stars form when massive stars collapse in supernovas, leaving behind a dense, neutron-rich core. The record breaker—named J1614-2230—is a type of neutron star called a millisecond pulsar; it spins at a dizzying rate of more than 300 revolutions per second and beams radio pulses in the direction of Earth every few milliseconds. Researchers were able to gauge the mass of the star by measuring the slowing speed of those pulses as they passed through the gravitational field of its companion star—an effect predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity. The measurement, reported online today in Nature, deals a death blow to several proposed models for the kind of matter that makes up a neutron star: exotic particles like hyperon, kaon condensates, and free quarks are out. The composition of a neutron star's dense core remains a mystery.
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