Cutaway neutron star

Cutaway neutron star

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Neutron star. Cutaway artwork of the internal structure of a neutron star. A neutron star is the remains of a massive star that has collapsed under its own gravity after its nuclear reactions ceased. It is as dense as an atomic nucleus, having a mass of up to three times that of the Sun despite being only around 10 kilometres across. A quantum mechanical effect (degeneracy) prevents further collapse. The photosphere (blue) conceals crusts (red) of electrons and atomic nuclei. Free neutrons form a superfluid (pink). The solid core (yellow) exceeds nuclear densities. The lines represent the magnetic field, such as found in radio pulsars (rotating magnetised neutron stars).

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Keywords: artwork, astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, crust, cutaway, dense, fluid, illustration, interior, layers, magnetic field, neutron star, peculiar, photosphere, science, solid core, space, star death, stellar, stellar evolution, universe

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