Mondays with Matthew.
One night Matthew was reading his science book at bedtime. As he read, I got myself ready for bed. I was brushing my teeth and planning for the next day when he appeared out of nowhere! “Ah!” a bit of toothpaste may have escaped my mouth. “Mom!” he said with pure excitement in his eyes, “Did you know neutron stars are so dense it’s like they take 2 super tankers and condense them into the size of a pen point!” He looked at me expecting me to absorb this information. I was more in awe of the fact that my kid was so excited about science he literally had to jump out of bed to talk about it. So, I decided to ask him to teach me a few things about these awesome stars.
Today Matthew is going to teach me about Neutron Stars. (1-11 are from the space book)
- If a star goes supernova then it might turn into a neutron star.
- Neutron stars have an insane amount of gravity. Not as much as a black hole, but… They’re really dense, that’s why they have so much gravity. They can pack the mass of the sun into the size of Boston.
- Neutron stars are about the size of a city.
- A pinhead of matter has more than twice the mass of the largest super tanker on Earth.
- They rotate as fast as 700 times per second.
- The surface temperature is about 1,000,000 degrees Ferenheit.
- It DOES have a strong magnetic field. It can be a quadrillion times more powerful than Earth’s magnetic field.
- A neutron star is a solid surface which is a million times stronger than steel and a 1/2 mile thick.
- The highest “mountains” on a neutron star are less than .19″ tall.
- The average human on a neutron star will weigh about as much as the human population in tons (7 billion tons).
- Also, a neutron star’s gravity is so great that an object dropped 3 feet from its surface would accelerate to 4 million mph by the time it landed.
- Neutron stars are “strong enough to significantly bend radiation from the star in a process known as gravitational lensing, allowing astronomers to see some of the back side of the star”
After he excitedly told me a couple more facts about neutron stars, he went to bed to continue his reading. I went to bed to start on my reading when he again came out of nowhere. “Ah!” my book plopped to the floor. “Mom! I finished reading about neutron stars and didn’t think it could get any more exciting, but then I turned the page (his hands up for emphasis) and there were 2 pages about black holes (his hands still up for emphasis). I thought neutron stars were incredible, but black holes basically take everything from neutron stars and magnify it.”
I will forever be in awe of his love of science.