View Full Version : Astronomers Look Inside a Neutron Star

2006-May-02, 06:13 PM
SUMMARY: A massive explosion on the surface of a neutron star gave astronomers an opportunity to peer inside its surface, similar to how geologists understand the structure of the Earth beneath our feet. The explosion jolted the neutron star, and set it ringing like a bell. The vibrations then passed through layers of different density - slushy or solid - changing the X-rays streaming off. Astronomers calculated that it has a thicker crust approximately 1.6 km (1 mile) deep, matching theoretical estimates.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/sgr_1806-20_rossi.html)
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2006-May-02, 06:29 PM
This is a very interesting event. I wonder what the remaining expected life time of the Rossi xray timing experiment is. I don't think we have another instrument out there that could give this kind of information the next time a magnetar does its thing.

I guess the Japanese xray telescope could have done it if it had made it to orbit safely.

2006-May-03, 02:27 AM
I wonder if this can be accepted as empirical evidence that neutron stars exist?

2006-May-03, 01:01 PM
I wonder if this can be accepted as empirical evidence that neutron stars exist?

This observed behavior maps very well to expected physics. Between this, spin-down rates, perhaps frame dragging, gravity redshift of electron-positron anihilation gammas, observations of Geminga (and similar) and so many other studies. People supporting models of the universe that can't allow neutron stars are few these days, and really don't promote models that explain these objects with any kind of precision. Yet, I don't think this one study will push many hard-liners over the edge.

2006-May-03, 02:25 PM
Also being discussed here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=40867).