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The Heaviest Recorded Neutron Star Is Heavier Than You Think
History - Science
South of the Leo constellation, in a constellation called Sextans, sits a collapsed star known as PSR J0952-0607. The star, which was discovered this year, is a neutron star — a star that results when enormous stars’ cores die out, which triggers a supernova — and it holds the record as the heaviest neutron star known to scientists.
Before PSR J0952-0607 was discovered, the bearer of the heaviest star moniker was PSR J0740+6620 of the constellation Camelopardalis, which weighed 2.08 times what our sun weighs, but the new find weighs 2.35 as much as the sun. Neutron stars are the densest astronomical objects in the universe, aside from the black holes they can collapse into.
With the average neutron star weighing only 1.4 times as much as the sun, this new find may help scientists get closer to figuring out the boundary between a neutron star and a black hole. According to Alex Filippenko, an astronomer who was involved in the study, a neutron star leaves a lot of mysteries open about the physics of a collapsed star that contains the mass of 500,000 Earths.