Ch 16: Neutron Stars & Black Holes

About This Chapter

Learn new details or refresh your memory about black holes and neutron stars using this short chapter. Refer to this resource to support your astronomy class studies or prepare for college credit or entrance exams.

Neutron Stars & Black Holes - Chapter Summary

What are the characteristics of black holes? How long does a black hole 'live'? How are neutron stars defined? These are just some of the basic facts you'll review when you access this informative chapter.

You can also expect to learn more about gamma rays, cosmic rays and pulsars. Once you complete this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Describe the life cycles of neutron stars and black holes
  • Define neutron stars and supernova remnants
  • Explain what pulsars are
  • Discuss binary pulsars and pulsar planets
  • Understand the Event Horizon, Schwarzschild Radius and escape velocity relating to black holes
  • Identify the origins of cosmic rays and gamma-ray bursts
  • Talk about cosmic recycling

Each lesson is accessible 24/7 from any device, making it possible to study wherever and whenever is best for you. Take self-assessment quizzes to check your full understanding as you move from lesson to lesson and track your progress using your Dashboard. Reach out to experts via a brief online contact form with any lesson-specific questions you might have.

11 Lessons in Chapter 16: Neutron Stars & Black Holes
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Life Cycle of Neutron Stars

1. Life Cycle of Neutron Stars

Discover the life of a neutron star, including how it's born after a supernova explosion and how its extreme pressure causes protons and electrons to combine into neutrons. Discover also how pulsars are rotating neutron stars that will eventually slow down to become regular neutron stars.

What are Neutron Stars and Supernova Remnants?

2. What are Neutron Stars and Supernova Remnants?

This lesson will describe what happens after a supernova explosion occurs. Something known as a supernova remnant or neutron star may remain after the explosion, and you'll find out why that's important and how they form.

What Are Pulsars?

3. What Are Pulsars?

This lesson will define and describe pulsars. Importantly, you'll learn why the term is a bit of a misnomer, what acts as a pulsar and why, and what it pulses out.

Binary Pulsars & Pulsar Planets

4. Binary Pulsars & Pulsar Planets

This lesson will describe important concepts related to pulsars, namely binary pulsars, such as pulsar planets, millisecond pulsars, and gravitational waves.

Life Cycle of Black Holes

5. Life Cycle of Black Holes

Learn about black holes, their myths and their reality. Learn how black holes form after stars undergo supernovae and create singularities. Discover how big black holes grow, how scientists find black holes and where black holes are located in the universe.

Black Holes: Escape Velocity and the Singularity

6. Black Holes: Escape Velocity and the Singularity

This lesson defines black holes and introduces two important concepts related to them, escape velocity and singularity, so you can build a base for further investigation of concepts related to black holes.

Black Holes: the Event Horizon and Schwarzschild Radius

7. Black Holes: the Event Horizon and Schwarzschild Radius

This lesson describes the event horizon and the Schwarzschild radius, including their implications on the gravitational attraction a black hole exerts on the universe around it.

Finding and Leaping into Black Holes

8. Finding and Leaping into Black Holes

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you fell into a black hole? Is it a good idea to use it for time travel? And what would your friends see as you fell in? Using this lesson on finding one might reveal it's not such a good idea. Or is it?

The Origin of Gamma-ray Bursts

9. The Origin of Gamma-ray Bursts

Gamma-ray bursts are so powerful, they may one day destroy us. But where do they come from? Find out as we define gamma-ray bursts, hypernovae, and magnetars in this lesson.

Cosmic Recycling: From Stellar Death to Human Life

10. Cosmic Recycling: From Stellar Death to Human Life

Did you know that you are related to the stars you see in the sky? Did you know that you're made of recycled material? This lesson will tell you how and why.

Cosmic Rays: Definition & Origin

11. Cosmic Rays: Definition & Origin

This lesson will explain what cosmic rays are (including primary and secondary cosmic rays), where they come from, if you should be worried about them, and what you can do to protect yourself from them if need be.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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