Apr 8 2009
I was watching this Science program on tv last night about Gamma Rays. Scientists & Astronomers were wondering about where these Gamma Rays were being emitted from. Their search lead to Neutron stars. Neutron stars are the collapsed cores of some massive stars. They pack roughly the mass of our Sun into a region the size of a city. These stars also have the strongest magnetic fields in the known universe. The stars that eventually become neutron stars are thought to start out with about 15 to 30 times the mass of our sun.
Gamma Rays can be emitted from Neutron Stars when an object falls into it, like an asteroid. Below is an artist’s conception of a neutron star. It sits in the center of a disk of gas that spirals towards it, eventually causing a runaway nuclear reaction on the surface, visible as a flash of X-rays from across the galaxy.