• Question: How much more mass would a neutron star need for it to become a black hole?

    Asked by 856enek26 to Stephen on 16 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Stephen Rhatigan

      Stephen Rhatigan answered on 16 Nov 2017:

      When a star with 10 to 20 times the mass of the Sun – a massive star – undergoes a supernova, its core collapses under immense gravitational forces to become a neutron star.
      Neutron stars typically have twice the mass of the Sun compacted into a radius of tens of kilometers.
      If a golf ball had the same density it would weigh around 200 trillion tonnes!
      However, if the neutron star has in excess of 3 times the mass of the Sun it will continue collapsing to form a black hole.
      Cool question.