Cool Science Facts: A feed worth having.

pi.gifI have about 250 rss feeds that I subscribe to. Some I skim or glance at, but some I actually take the time to read every post that comes out because the content's always that good. I'll have to go through and pick out a best of to post later.

One of the 'always reads' is Cool Science Facts from Drew Olbrich. It's the kind of info that's perfect for blogging. Short, extremely well written, accurate, and funny.

Cool Science Facts: Binary Neutron Stars 

The astronomers who discovered this binary neutron star system gave it the name PSR J0737-3039. I wonder what these guys name their pets.

Every day, the two neutron stars in PSR J0737-3039 get a quarter of an inch closer together, because of energy loss due to gravitational waves. 85 million years from now, they'll merge together. One minute before this happens, the neutron stars will be only a few hundred miles apart, and orbit around each other 30 times per second. In the final few moments, they'll get much closer together, and extremely angry, and the orbital frequency will increase to 1000 times per second.

This is totally insane. Two city-sized objects, each with the mass of the sun, whirling around each other 1000 times per second. If you don't think this is impressive, you might as well go back to bed now.

When the neutron stars in PSR J0737-3039 merge, they will probably form a black hole, which is an exotic astronomical object whose gravity is so strong that even humor cannot escape it.