Astronomers spot unusual object falling in the black hole ‘mass gap’.

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Science & Technology

Topic: Space Technology

Issue: Astronomy Concepts


  • The mass determines a star’s life cycle.
  • Neutron Stars: When stars run out of fuel, their cores collapse under their own gravity.
  • If the core is less dense, it becomes a neutron star, else it becomes a black hole.
    • Event Horizon:It is the point of no-return where the gravitational pull becomes so immense that not even light can escape.
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    • Singularity is the heart of the black hole, a point of infinite density where all the matter that fell in is concentrated.
    • Chandrasekhar limit:Only stars whose mass is greater than 44 times of the sun turns into neutron stars/blackholes.
  • Black Hole mass gap: Mass gap between heaviest possible neutron stars, (2.2 solar masses) and the lightest black holes(5 solar masses).
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  • Pulsars:Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars with strong magnetic fields that blast out pulses of radiation at regular intervals ranging from seconds to milliseconds.
  • Millisecond Pulsars: Rotate significantly faster, with periods less than about 10 milliseconds.
  • Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity : It suggests that instead of thinking of gravity as a force between masses, it is the bending or warping of space and time.
    • Space and time are not separate entities but are interconnected called ad “spacetime”.
    • Massive objects, like planets and stars, warp or curve the fabric of spacetime around them.
    • Predicted the existence of gravitational waves – ripples in spacetime caused by the acceleration of massive objects.
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