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Thread: Two neutron stars walked into a bar...

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    Default Two neutron stars walked into a bar...



    .. somewhere near our solar system. And collided, a heck of a long time ago. With some interesting results.

    https://phys.org/news/2019-05-neutro...-billions.html
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    Default Re: Two neutron stars walked into a bar...

    ... and then the bar blew up and the neutron stars are nowhere to be found. A search team sent to look for them has mysteriously disappeared, too, after a brief flash of light.

    Questions:
    1. Is it possible for two neutron stars to collide and NOT end up with a black hole?
    2. If yes, is there a known instance of this happening?

    I presume they would need to have relatively small initial masses to accomplish this feat, and/or eject lots of material after the collision.

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    Default Re: Two neutron stars walked into a bar...

    Quote Originally Posted by drolem View Post
    ... and then the bar blew up and the neutron stars are nowhere to be found. A search team sent to look for them has mysteriously disappeared, too, after a brief flash of light.

    Questions:
    1. Is it possible for two neutron stars to collide and NOT end up with a black hole?
    2. If yes, is there a known instance of this happening?

    I presume they would need to have relatively small initial masses to accomplish this feat, and/or eject lots of material after the collision.
    1) Depending on the initial masses, yes. Although neutron star matter is incapable of being nuclear fuel, the conditions of collision disrupt the hydrostatic equilibrium that keeps the material in its ground state. While the cores of the neutron stars are mostly neutrons (2% protons roughly) the crusts are composed of neutron rich nuclei. The collision disrupts the pressure balance and the nuclei are free to decay and participate in neutron capture reactions. The energy so released is then available to power ejection of some material while the remainder coalesces into a single neutron star or black hole.
    2) Yes. Statistics for seeing this in the act nearby are poor, but
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star_merger
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/GW170817
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    Default Re: Two neutron stars walked into a bar...

    Thanks for the explanation and links. Apparently, the reference to a magnetar producing merger was there, so I either missed it last time, or it was added since I last read the neutron star merger on wikipedia.

    "In 2019, analysis of data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed another binary neutron star merger at a distance of 6.6 billion light years, an x-ray signal called XT2. The merger produced a magnetar; its emissions could be detected for several hours.[18]"

    The article for this: A new neutron star merger is caught on X-ray camera | Astronomy.com

    I have no idea what the initial field strength may have been, but it surely decayed very fast, at least initially.

 

 

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