Watch what happens when two neutron stars collide

May 14, 2014
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Watch what happens when two neutron stars collide

A new NASA video offers up a computer simulation for the birth of a black hole. In the video, we see two neutron stars circling one another before the gravitational attraction becomes too much to bear. A combination of their energies via a merger creates the black hole.


The neutron stars, which are 1.7 and 1.4 times the mass of our sun, are roughly 11 miles apart in the simulation. As they circle each other, they begin to deform, until the larger star starts to crush the smaller. As it erupts, it begins to circle the larger star, creating far too much mass for even it to withstand.

In the description of the video, a NASA spokesperson said "At 13 milliseconds, the more massive star has accumulated too much mass to support it against gravity and collapses, and a new black hole is born. The black hole's event horizon — its point of no return — is shown by the gray sphere. While most of the matter from both neutron stars will fall into the black hole, some of the less-dense, faster-moving matter manages to orbit around it, quickly forming a large and rapidly rotating torus.”

According to NASA, the amount of energy radiating here is intense. A neutron star occurs when a star that is 8-30 times the mass of the sun explodes in a supernova, leaving the core intact. They think a mere 0.06 inches of that star would outweigh Mount Everest.

Scientists also think the stars collision would produce enough gold to occupy the mass of ten moons, and release gamma ray bursts that have as much energy as the entire Milky Way. For 13 milliseconds of work, neutron stars get the job done. Check out the video below, and feel free to keep it on a loop — it’s that cool.



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