‘Impossible’ neutron stars could explain strange lightning

‘Impossible’ neutron stars could explain strange lightning

‘Impossible’ neutron stars could explain strange lightning

The oscillation frequencies of two short gamma-ray bursts are the best evidence yet for the formation of “impossible” hypermassive neutron stars that can briefly defy gravity before collapsing to form a black hole.

A neutron star forms when a large star runs out of fuel and explodes, leaving behind a super-dense residue that can pack the sun’s mass into the space of a city. Usually a neutron star can only hold a little more than twice the mass of the sun before it undergoes gravitational collapse to form a black hole. However, when two regular neutron stars in a binary system merge, their combined mass can exceed this limit – but only briefly, and the scene is hard to spot.

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