Astronomers at West Virginia University have found the most massive neutron star J0740+6620, ever recorded, located about 4,600 light-years from Earth.

  • Newly found neutron star is very dense, about 2.17 times the mass of the sun packed into a sphere that’s only 15 miles across.


  • Scientists have been able to use gravitational waves to make several discoveries about neutron stars recently, including a pair of them smashing together to create a massive “kilonova.” 
  • Scientists believe that a similar kilonova that happened about 4.6 billion years ago might have been the source of gold and platinum on Earth.

IndIGO (Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations)

  • It is an initiative to set up advanced experimental facilities, with appropriate theoretical and computational support, for a multi-institutional Indian national project in gravitational-wave astronomy. 
  • Since 2009, the IndIGO Consortium has been involved in constructing the Indian road-map for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and a phased strategy towards Indian participation in realizing the crucial gravitational-wave observatory in the Asia-Pacific region. 
  • The current major IndIGO plans on gravitational-wave astronomy relate to the LIGO-India project. 
  • LIGO-India is a planned advanced gravitational-wave detector to be located in India, to be built and operated in collaboration with the LIGO USA and its international partners Australia, Germany and the UK. 

Shapiro Delay Phenomenon

  • Scientists measure the mass of a neutron star using the “Shapiro Delay” phenomenon.
  • The space around the star is warped due to its high gravitational pull. Pulses from a pulsar need to travel farther through that warped space, which makes them more time. That delay tells scientists how dense a neutron star is.

 Life cycle of stars (Nebula to Black hole)



 Neutron Stars

  • Neutron stars are one of the possible evolutionary end-points of high mass stars.
  • Once the core of the star has completely burned to iron, energy production stops and the core rapidly collapses, squeezing electrons and protons together to form neutrons and neutrinos thus producing a neutron star.
  • Neutron stars are very dense (mass of three times the Sun can be fit in a sphere of just 20km in diameter).
  • If its mass is any greater, its gravity will be so strong that it will shrink further to become a black hole