Do dead stars still shine?
When the star collapses, does it still remains hot and shiny? I always thought that "death of a star" really means that - star transforms to a plain rock. Is it the same with neutron stars?
After a star dies, there is still some residual heat left over. That heat makes the star (white dwarf or neutron star) glow, even though it is not producing any energy. Eventually, the star cools off and does indeed simply become a hunk of ash, which we call a "black dwarf."
Obvious question: If the neutron star still remains hot, what is the black hole really? Is it pure singularity, or is it occupying some space?
A black hole is the exception. Black holes are singularities, or very nearly singularities, and so don't have a temperature in the usual sense. Any energy in a black hole, be it rest mass or heat, goes into deepening the gravity well of the hole.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- Could we be seeing dead stars?
- What is the life cycle of a star?
- If a white dwarf is a "dead" star, why is it so hot?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 47561 times since September 29, 2002.
Last modified: October 22, 2002 9:52:59 AM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)