Dark matter might cause neutron stars to collapse into black holes

SelfAwarePatterns

English: Vector compound of File:Neutron_star_... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ratamacue0 called my attention to this interesting article on the possibility of dark matter “eating” neutron stars: Dark matter: Devourer of stars | Ars Technica.

Neutron stars are collapsed stars that have used up all of their fusion fuel.  Typically what happens at that point in a star’s life is that they collapse, but the extent of the collapse is largely a factor of how much mass they had.  A star the size of our sun will collapse into a white dwarf (dense but still composed of atoms with electron clouds), but a heavier star will often collapse into a much denser neutron star (the gravity has crushed the electron clouds out of existence with only neutrons left, at least at their core).  Heavier stars yet will collapse into black holes (where the gravity overwhelms all repulsive forces between particles and causes the whole structure to collapse into…

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