Over and over again, the new discoveries of astronomers remind us of how little we know about our universe. More recently, for example, an international group of scientists discovered the most massive neutron star ever studied. The object, which received the difficult name J07406620, turned out to be 2.17 times heavier than the Sun and 722 thousand times heavier than our Earth.
The incredibly heavy star also has a high density – with a modest diameter of 30 km, its mass is 4.3210 30 kg. For comparison, the Sun, whose mass is more than twice as modest (1.9810 30), has a diameter of 1.4 million kilometers. The find is 4.6 thousand light years from Earth. Researchers were able to measure its mass due to the so-called Shapiro delay – the effect of slowing down light near massive objects; the heavier the subject, the higher the delay.
What is unusual about this discovery is that until recently it was believed that the mass threshold for turning such a star into a black hole is much lower than that of J07406620. Previously, scientists believed that this threshold is 2.01 solar masses, but the found object has 2.17 masses. Researchers are already redefining established theory. By the way, recently a black hole has thrown a challenge to scientific postulates, which, according to the generally accepted opinion, should not exist.