Neutron Star Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Neutron Star
  • Common Name: Neutron Star
  • Type of Star: Giant Star (collapsed core)
  • Mass: Between 1.1 and 2.1 mass
  • First Discovered: 1967
  • Discovered by: Jocelyn Bell Burnell
  • Examples: PSR J0108-1431 and LGM-1

17 Neutron Star Facts for Kids

  1. A neutron star is a collapsed core of a giant star, created from a supernova explosion.
  2. The concept of a neutron star was proposed by Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky in 1933.
  3. The first neutron star (pulsar) discovered was PSR B1919+21, by Jocelyn Bell Burnell on November 28th, 1967.
  4. Astronomers have discovered over 2,000 neutron stars and estimate there are over 100 million of them in our galaxy.
  5. Existing technology only allows us to detect neutron stars that are less than one million years old.
  6. The closet neutron star to our planet is RX J1856.5-3754. It’s around 400 light-years away.
  7. The average diameter of a neutron star is 6.2 miles.
  8. The average mass of a neutron star is 1.4 solar masses (one solar mass = the size of our sun).
  9. The average surface temperature of a neutron star is about 600,000 Kelvin.
  10. A neutron star has a very fast rotation, and a young neutron star can complete many rotations in just one second.
  11. A pulsar is a neutron star that rotates and emits pulses of radiation out of its poles.
  12. A magnetar is a neutron star that as massively powerful magnetic field. A magnetar can have a magnetic field that is a thousand trillion times greater than Earth’s.
  13. A radio-quiet neutron star doesn’t emit any detectable radio emissions, like a pulsar and doesn’t have the same magnetic field that as a magnetar.
  14. A neutron star can be part of a binary system. The binary systems discovered have included other multiple neutron stars, main-sequence stars, white dwarfs and red giants.
  15. Neutron stars are the smallest stars in our universe, however they are also the densest stars in our universe.
  16. To understand the density of a neutron star, imagine one the size of Manhattan Island. While it would only be 13 miles long, it would have a mass 1.5 times the size of our sun.
  17. A supernova explosion will create a neutron star, a block hole or destroy the progenitor.

Additional Resources with Neutron Star Facts