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Neutron Stars (Illustrations)

Illustration of a Magnetar
1. Illustration of a Magnetar
These illustration show that a slowly rotating neutron star with an ordinary surface magnetic field is giving off bursts of X-rays and gamma rays. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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Illustration of a Magnetar
2. Illustration of a Magnetar
These illustrations show how an extremely rapidly rotating neutron star, which has formed from the collapse of a very massive star, can produce incredibly powerful magnetic fields. These objects are known as magnetars. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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Illustration of a Magnetar
3. Illustration of a Magnetar
These illustrations show how an extremely rapidly rotating neutron star, which has formed from the collapse of a very massive star, can produce incredibly powerful magnetic fields. These objects are known as magnetars. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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Neutron Star Illustration
4. Neutron Star Illustration
This artist's conception illustrates 1E 1207.4-5209, a neutron star with a polar hot spot and a strong magnetic field (purple lines). (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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Illustration of a Magnetar
5. Closeup of a Neutron Star
Closeup of neutron star, showing how matter falls, or accretes, from accretion disk onto the neutron star. (Illustration: CXC/S. Lee)

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Illustration of a Magnetar
6. Size Comparison of RX J1856 to Neutron and Quark Stars
This artist's rendition shows the diameter of RX J1856.5-3754, determined by data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, is too small to be a neutron star. The data are consistent with predicted size for a strange quark star, an object never before seen in nature. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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Illustration of a Magnetar
7. Neutron Star/Quark Star Interior
In a neutron star (left), the quarks that comprise the neutrons are confined inside the neutrons. In a quark star(right), the quarks are free, so they take up less space and the diameter of the star is smaller. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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8. Illustration of relative sizes of Grand Canyon, neutron star and quark star
The Grand Canyon is 18 miles rim to rim. A neutron star is about 12 miles in diameter, and a quark star is about 7 miles in diameter. (Illustration: CXC/D. Berry)

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9. Illustration of the Mouse System
This illustration shows the various zones around a pulsar (bright white dot) that is producing a wind of high energy particles as it moves supersonically through the interstellar medium. Immediately surrounding the pulsar is a cavity (shown in red) in which the wind flows freely outward. At the point where the pressure of the pulsar wind is balanced by external pressure, a termination shock is formed. Due to the pulsar's motion, this shock has a swept back, ellipsoidal shape. The acceleration of particles at the termination shock produces a bright arc, ring or ellipsoid, depending on the viewing angle and the motion of the pulsar. Beyond the termination shock the particles stream away to form a much larger cloud that is also swept back by the interaction with the interstellar gas. The large arc in front of the pulsar is the bow shock wave that races ahead of the pulsar into the interstellar gas. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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10. Illustration of B1957+20 (Black Widow Pulsar)
An artist's impression of the optical and X-ray emission surrounding the "Black Widow" pulsar B1957+20 is shown at left. The rapidly spinning pulsar, marked by the white star in this figure, is moving from left to right generating a "bow shock" (a sonic boom traveling ahead of the pulsar into surrounding interstellar gas.) (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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11. Illustration of B1957+20 (Black Widow Pulsar, Close-Up)
On a scale about a million times smaller than the figure above, the pulsar's high-energy wind also has a dramatic effect on its companion star, which orbits the pulsar every 9.2 hours. The pulsar is shown as a white dot, with its wind flowing out at high speeds in all directions. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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12. Still Illustrations of White Dwarf Gravitational Wave Merger
Two white dwarf stars, orbiting each other in a death grip and destined to merge, may be flooding space right now with gravitational waves. These waves are ripples in space-time predicted by Einstein but never detected directly. Einstein predicted that accelerating, massive objects emit gravitational waves, which propagate through space at light speed. A passing wave will cause the Earth, Moon and all matter to bob, like a buoy on the ocean, subtly altering the distance between them. (Credit: GSFC/D.Berry)

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13. Illustration of Shock Wave in 47 Tuc W
This illustration shows the binary star 47 Tuc W. Gravity from the millisecond pulsar (MSP), the small white dot on the right, is pulling matter away from the normal star shown in yellow on the left. This matter collides with particles racing away from the pulsar at near the speed of light, shown in blue. This creates a shock wave, the white region between the star and the pulsar, which generates high-energy X-rays that are observed with Chandra. (Illustration: NASA/CfA/S.Bogdanov)

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