A celestial object of very small radius (typically 30 km) and very high density, composed predominantly of closely packed neutrons. Neutron stars are thought to form by the gravitational collapse of the remnant of a massive star after a supernova explosion, provided that the star is insufficiently massive to produce a black hole.
- The final state of this explosion would be a neutron star or black hole.
- By observing the companion closely in the coming years it may even be possible to detect a neutron star or black hole emerge from the remnants of the explosion ‘in real time’.
- The longer ones are generally believed to result when a massive star collapses into a black hole, rather than into a neutron star as in a supernova explosion.
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