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Neutron Stars Neutron stars – When a massive star reaches the end of its life, the gravitational contraction can overcome the degenerate electron pressure that held the core during the last stages of the star. – Then the electrons and protons can combine under this pressure and transform into neutrons. – Pulsars – rotating neutron stars Pulsars: Rapidly rotating Neutron Stars Pulsars Crab pulsar Pulsars Pulsars The Black Widow Pulsar: the black widow pulsar is slowly eating away its companion star by blasting it with energetic particles. Upper mass limit of Neutron Stars • In Neutron stars the gravity is balanced by two forces. – Degenerate neutron pressure – Strong nuclear force. • If the mass of a neutron star has a mass larger than the maximum limit of 2 to 3 M then the gravitational collapse will be too strong to be resisted by these two forces. • There is no force in nature known to physicists that could stop a massive star from collapsing….into a Black Hole !!!