An international team of astrophysicists, led by Sudip Bhattacharyya from the city-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), have made a discovery using ‘thermonuclear burst’ to reveal the true size of Neutron stars.
“To understand the core of the nature of dense matter at the core of the neutron star, one has to measure the size of it. The thermonuclear bursts are kind of hydrogen bombs going off all over the surface of the Neutron star, which is used as a tool by the international team,” Bhattachryya of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics told today.
“Data analysis through a theoretical model has led to the new discovery,” he said. The lack of a reliable measurement of the neutron star size was the key obstacle to understand the nature of the matter higher than the nuclear density. “Now Thermonuclear bursts can give away this size,” he said.
The surface determines intensity of the burst and from the total intensity of the burst, one can get the surface area (size) of neutron star, Bhattacharyaa said.
Neutron stars are the densest objects in the universe that we can see. These stars are around 1.5 times the sun’s weight, but are so small that they can fit within a city, the Astrophysicist said. …