A Neutron Star forms when a medium-sized star (about 4-8 times the size of our Sun) comes to the end of its life (runs out of fuel) and explodes in a Super Nova.  It is basically the end product of an intermediate size star, too large to collapse into a White Dwarf, but too small to create a Black Hole.  

The Super Nova explosion strips away all protons and electrons from the nucleus of each atom of mass, leaving only neutrons (which have a slightly higher mass than protons). The end result is plasma composed of neutrons only. This plasma is so dense, that a tea spoon of mass from a Neutron Star would weigh 1 Billion tons! In addition, because of its small size and enormous density their gravitional pull is 2 x 1011 times that of Earth!

More than half the stars systems in the Universe are binary systems (2 stars) and many of these are Neutron Stars.  In many cases, these binary systems containing Neutron Stars rotate around each other and draw closer to each other. They finally come close enough to merge and WHAM!... a Black Hole is created.

The creation of a Black Hole from 2 merging Neutron Stars is shown in this animated NASA video.....VERY COOL.

As shown in the Nasa video above, colliding Neutron Stars are detected by very bright but temporary burst of gamma rays. When these occur, another Black Hole is created!

Al Maddalena

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This is fantastic nanotechnology that cloaks objects. Still in development, it sprays on the object like a paint and the nanoparticles bend light around the object to reflect what is behind. As shown in the video, it is then possible to essentially "see through" the object.

The general outline can be seen but improvements undoubtedly will be made.

Technology is amazing!

Al Maddalena

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There are many solar systems with 2 or more stars orbiting around each other, or more correctly, they are orbiting around the common center of mass.

Thses sytems are obviously very different from our system that has 1 yellow star.

Here is an artist's conception of what these binary systems may look like.

In the above artist's conception there are 2 white dwarf stars in a binary system orbiting around each other, created by their enourmous gravitational attraction for one another.

At Zooniverse we are involved in searching for planets around stars and we encounter numerous binary stars such as the one above. We analyze the light curves from the Kepler Space Telescope.  

We look for dips in the light curves that could indicate that a planet has moved in front of a star (eclipsing the star). Many times we encounter eclipsing binary systems.

Below is a typical light curve for an eclipsing binary star system.

In the light curve above, you can see the vertical white dots dropping from the main light curve (thick area of white dots). These are drops in the amount of light coming from the binar star system. It is the result of 1 star passing in front of the other star (eclipsing the other star). Below is the diagram explaining the light curve coming from an eclipsing binary system.

The biggest dip (A) in the light curve occurs when the larger star passes in front of (eclipses) the small star. The smaller dip in the light curve (B) occurs when the smaller star passes in front of the larger star.

These changes in the light curve are only noticeable for star systems that are orbiting in the same plane of view as the Kepler telescope.

When you think about it, this is still an amazing analysis of eclipsing binary systems that are light years away from us!

Al Maddalena

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Megalodon was an enourmous shark that lived from about 25 Million years ago to about 2 Million years ago. We know this shark existed because we have the actual teeth from Megalodon in the fossil record.  

In the video, researchers calculate the largest great white shark bite force to be about 4,000 lbs per square inch, while the bite force for Megalodon is caluclated to be about 40,000 lbs per square inch!

Megalodon is thought to be extinct, but Discovery Channel aired a program last summer that Megalodon may still be alive.

This is a good documentary on Megalodon.

Al Maddalena

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Wow what spectacular beach! Huge waves pound the beach in the background that is protected by an enormous rock ledge. Tremendous power and peaceful calm in the same video! I need to get here.

Al Maddalena

P.S. If you want to have your own blog to share videos and pictures of your vacations while making money, get more info here.

 

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