Astrophysicists Found a Way To Distinguish Black Hole And Neutron Stars

An international team of astrophysics found a way to distinct black hole event horizon from neutron stars. Black holes and neutron stars are very massive objects in universe, it is very difficult task to separately identify both of them. But now a team consisting of Mr. Srimanta Banerjee and Professor Sudip Bhattacharyya from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India, and Professor Marat Gilfanov and Professor Rashid Sunyaev from Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Germany and Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia finds that cosmic X-rays can use to identify black holes and distinguish them from neutron stars. They used Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) astronomy satellite in their research work.(*RXTE is used of variation of astronomical X-rays, it mainly consist of three instruments – an All Sky Monitor, the Proportional Counter Array, and the High-Energy X-ray Timing Experiment (HEXTE)). This research paper has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Black hole is a region where a sufficiently compact mass deforms the space-time curve, which has very strong gravitational field, and its boundary region is known as event horizon. No particles can escape from the region of black hole, not even light particles. Einstein’s general theory of relativity provides sufficient evidence of black holes. In April, 2019 1st image of a black hole was taken using Event Horizon Telescope, at the centre of the galaxy M87.


Neutron stars are also like black holes, densest stellar objects. It is the collapsed core of a massive supergiant star. Mass of neutron stars are about 10 to 25 solar masses. It has a hard surface. It can also shine in X-rays by accreting matter from a companion star.


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