Neutron stars may fire out neutrinos in beams like a laser light show


Neutron stars cool down by emitting neutrinos. A mathematical model now suggests the neutrinos come out in focused beams rather than a uniform emission


26 October 2022

A rotating neutron star

A rotating neutron star

X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Amsterdam/N.Rea et al; Optical: DSS

Neutron stars may emit most of their neutrinos in just a few beams unevenly across their surface, causing cracks to open. The finding could explain why some neutron stars seem to jerk as they spin.

When some massive stars exhaust their fuel, they collapse and become incredibly dense objects made mostly of neutrons. These neutron stars do not produce heat but can be 60,000°C on the surface. To cool down, instead of emitting light, they emit neutrinos.

Michael Famiano at Western Michigan University and …

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