Neutron stars. The secret of the inner core has been revealed: they are like chocolates


Neutron stars resemble chocolates that can hide a soft filling or a crunchy nut inside. The secret of their internal structure has been revealed by over a million mathematical equations written to simulate the characteristics of these extremely compact and dense objects.


Neutron stars form after the death of a star, enclosing a mass even greater than that of the Sun within a sphere the size of a large city . The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and was conducted by researchers at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, coordinated by the Italian Luciano Rezzolla.

Simulating the internal conditions of such a star is a very complex challenge as it is very difficult to recreate them in the laboratory . Over a million equations, based on astronomical observations , have thus been developed in order to describe these objects.

Thus, it was discovered that on the basis of their mass these stars have different characteristics: below 1.7 solar masses they seem to have a hard core and a soft mantle, while with greater mass it is the opposite: hard mantle or soft core .


Neutron stars apparently behave a bit like chocolate pralines. The lighter ones are reminiscent of those chocolates that have a hazelnut in the center surrounded by soft chocolate while the heavier ones can be considered more similar to those chocolates where a hard layer contains a soft filling.


Luciano Rezzolla, research coordinator

  • Neutron stars like chocolates, the secret of the inner core revealed (


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