Neutron Star Mountain Gravity Astronomy
Scientists have discovered that the mountains on neutron stars stand just millimeters tall. These stars are some of the densest objects in the universe, weighing as much as the Sun while only being around 6.2-miles (10-kilometers) wide. These are formed when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses, with every proton and electron in the object forming a neutron, or a a neutrally charged subatomic particle. Read more for a video and additional information.



The deformations on neutron stars form a perfect sphere and are called “mountains”, despite being millions of times smaller than those on Earth. Even though they are single objects, spinning neutron stars with slight deformations should produce ripples in the fabric of spacetime known as gravitational waves due to their intense gravitation.

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For the past two decades, there has been much interest in understanding how large these mountains can be before the crust of the neutron star breaks, and the mountain can no longer be supported. These results show how neutron stars truly are remarkably spherical objects. Additionally, they suggest that observing gravitational waves from rotating neutron stars may be even more challenging than previously thought,” said Fabian Gittins, a graduate researcher at the University of Southampton and leader of the research team.