a mess of circles and lightning strikes

The strange quark star may have formed from a lucky cosmic merger

The universe may contain hypothetical extremely dense and exotic cosmic objects known as strange quark stars. While astrophysicists continue to debate the existence of quark stars, a team of physicists has discovered that the remnant of a neutron star merger observed in 2019 has the right mass to be one of these strange quark stars.

When the stars die, their cores compress to such incredible degrees that they become entirely new types of objects. E.g, when the sun finally flickerswill leave behind a white dwarf, a planet-sized ball of highly compressed carbon and oxygen atoms. When even bigger stars explode in cataclysmic explosions called Supernova, they leave behind neutron stars. These incredibly dense objects are only a few miles across, but can weigh several times the mass of the sun. As their name suggests, they are made up almost entirely of pure neutrons, making them essentially atomic nuclei miles wide.

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