Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Outside the Site
Google Sky
WWT
Facebook
Youtube
Vimeo
Twitter
Flickr
Pinterest
Multimedia, Etc
Images/Illustrations
Animation & Video
Special Features
Chandra Podcasts
Chandra Mobile
Desktop Images
The Big Chandra Picture
High Res Prints
Presentations
Handouts
Screen Savers
Audio
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Q&A: Supernova Remnants and Neutron Stars

Q:
I've read the material at http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2002/g541/index.html and am wondering if there is a diameter calculated for the size of the neutron star? the point-like source? Rotating at 7 times per second it wouldn't have to be large, hardly bigger than Earth, to have an equatorial linear velocity of the speed of light, and at any distance, for us to be seeing it at all it would almost have to be certainly at least the size of the Earth? What i'm thinking might explain some of the other phenomenon as well.?

A:
Your statement that an Earth-size star would disintegrate if it rotated as fast as 7 times a second is correct. This was one of the early arguments as to why pulsars had to be neutron stars, which have a diameter of about 20 kilometers. We cannot resolve the size of the neutron star, but infer it from the details of the radiation we observe and theory. In the case of the pulsar in G54.1 the energy output is due to a power generated by its rapidly rotating magnetic field.

Back | Index | Next