One of the momentous questions of particle physics which involve lots of mysteries, how precisely the matter behaves or works when pushed to its extremes. Generally, a photon having high and great energy takes a total of 512 years to travel to the Earth from a neutron star. The information regarding how and with what speed a photon travels to space tells a lot about the characteristics of matter. The width of the neutron star can also solve the greatest mysteries of physics. There are limits on the density of a matter in the surface of the earth. Researchers have been observing the behavior of particles at extreme density. Various methodologies have been forwarded to know and cognize the density of matter. Neutron stars are known to be the densest object of the universe.
Zaven Arzoumanian, one of NASA’s ingenious scientists, stated that after a massive explosion in space (which is known as the supernova), the core was left behind and is called the neutron star. While spinning at high speed, these stars fire great x-ray energy into space. To know about their density is the main thing.
NICER (NASA’s project of Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer) consists of a large telescope which is placed on the top of ISS. This telescope notes lights coming from the stars and the characteristics of neutron.
Besides helping astronauts and scientists figure out the exact radius of the neutron star, NICER also helps them to understand the following features of the neutron star –
Rotational speed – While spinning, the neutron star almost looks like a lighthouse. This is because the light on its surface blinks towards and then away from the Earth. Data provided by NICER can help astronauts and scientists know exactly the number of time the light on the neuron star blinks while rotating. In this way, the speed of its rotation can also be detected. This speed can also determine and detect the exact radius of the neutron star.
Bending of light – Neuron stars are dense in nature. Photons might be fired from the bright spot of the neutron star into space, and NICER can detect this. The sensor of the NICER gets smacked with the photons coming from the gravity well of the neutron star and hence can bend the light in that way. Mass and radius can both be detected by the rate of the curvature made by the light.