CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Neutron star. Artwork of a neutron star. This super-dense astronomical object is the remains of a massive star that has collapsed under its own gravity. The star is as dense as an atomic nucleus, having a mass of up to three times that of the Sun despite being only around 25 kilometres across. The star is composed mainly of neutrons, formed when protons and electrons are forcibly combined during the collapse. Neutron stars rotate extremely rapidly, up to several thousand times per second and are extremely hot, with surface temperatures in the millions of degrees Celsius. Some neutron stars produce regular beams of radio emissions known as pulsars.
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