- For other uses, see neutron.
A neutron star is a collapsed star. It forms when a supergiant star exhausts its nuclear fuel, its massive gravity forcing its core to collapse while expelling the rest of its stellar matter in a supernova explosion.
History and specifics
The mass of a neutron star was similar to that of an ordinary star, except that it had an average diameter of 20 km and a density of a few billion tons per cm3. While this would allow for a closer approach than to a normal star, gravitational tidal forces were so immense near a neutron star that they would shred any matter that got too close. (VOY novel: Death of a Neutron Star)
The Black Star in Sector 006 had previously been a nova, then an X-ray star, then a neutron star, before its final collapse into a unique type of black star singularity. (TOS - Star Trek 2 novelization: Tomorrow is Yesterday)
600,000 years ago, Q manifested as a neutron star, then a drop of protomatter, then shifted in time and from matter to energy in an attempt to avoid capture by Gorgan and The One. The supernova of the home star of the Tkon Empire freed him, and he wondered if it would collapse into a neutron star or a singularity. It became a singularity. (TNG novel: Q-Zone)
In 7955 B.C., the star Ganidra began fusing neon, beginning a decline which in two or three years would result in it progressing to fuse oxygen and then other elements. Because it wasn’t large enough to fuse silicon into iron, at that point the star would become a supernova, its core eventually condensing into a neutron star. Ganidra was Fabrina’s star, the launch point of the Fabrini vessel Yonada. (TOS novel: Ex Machina)
In 2117, Polo's Bolos were discovered by the Marco Polo, which was investigating irregular X-ray emanations from a neutron star. They were surprised to learn that the emanations came from behind the star, which had been directly in line between Earth and the phenomena. Once able to see past the neutron star, Marco Polo found the cause of the signal: a maelstrom caused by two black holes orbiting each other elliptically. (TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool)
In the year 2266, the USS Constellation studied emissions from the neutron star in the Beta Proxima system for two weeks, which Matthew Decker exaggerated that Guillermo Masada’s data would overfill the memory of the ship’s computer. (TOS novel: The Brave and the Bold)
In 2269, the route of the Great Starship Race went past a neutron star. Telemetry from one of the route beacons was disrupted by the star. Also near the race route was a navigational hazard, a nebula resulting from the collision of a neutron star and a class-C red giant star five to eight million years ago. The racing merchant ship Ransom Castle tried using the cloud as a short cut. (TOS novel: The Great Starship Race)
After going nova in 2269, Beta Niobe eventually collapsed into a blue neutron star that emitted high levels of gamma ray and x-ray radiation. A super-heated plasma bubble was detected traveling 0.1 C outward from the star. (TOS novel: No Time Like the Past)
In 2270, the USS Enterprise fired a pair of photon torpedoes at precise points within the heart of the flaring class G star Mercaniad to prevent its collapse into a neutron star. (TOS novel: The Abode of Life)
In 2368 a rogue core fragment from a neutron star passed Moab IV. Its density was 100 billion kg/cm3. The USS Enterprise slightly deflected its trajectory with a modified tractor beam. (TNG episode: "The Masterpiece Society")
In 2371, USS Voyager discovered a Bela-Neutron device on an artificial moon that projected a beam with a force capable of crushing a star into a neutron star. Ancient Furies built the device to generate an artificial wormhole to the Alpha Quadrant. (VOY novel: The Final Fury)
In 2374, the Hirogen Alpha claimed that with his body armor on, “I once tracked a silicon-based lifeform through the neutronium mantle of a collapsed star.” Tom Paris was skeptical. (VOY episode: "Prey")
In 2380, the USS Titan studied Occultus Ora near the Gum Nebula for three weeks. It contained exotic matter plasmids, a strain of dark matter, arranged in an enormous ring around a neutron star. The dark matter rendered the interior a dark void, with only the light from an occasional star visible from within. USS Titan launched a variety of probes, including one that fed probe data into a Telemetric observation VISOR. The research team included aMershik, Berias, Bralik, Zurin Dakal, Peya Fell, Hsuuri, Jaza Najem, Melora Pazlar, Klace Polan, Roakn, and Voris. (TTN novel: Sword of Damocles)
As part of their Great Work, the Caeliar had retrieved superdense strange matter out of neutron stars to construct a thick shell around their homeworld New Erigol and its star. (ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals)
In the year 2274, the Enterprise charted Epsilon Anubis, a binary system consisting of Epsilon Anubis A, an F class star, and Epsilon Anubis B, a neutron star. During an upcoming close pass, X-ray and gamma radiation from the neutron star would kill all the inhabitants of a derelict found in the system. The Enterprise mounted a rescue mission. (TOS comic: "The Savage Within")
In 2366, scientist Doctor Paul Stubbs launched a probe from the USS Enterprise to study a binary system in the Kavis Alpha sector containing a neutron star and a red giant. The system also contained at least four planets, including Kavis Alpha IV. Stubbs’ research was on the decay rate of neutronium when blasted out of a stellar explosion at relativistic speeds. The expulsion phenomena occurred regularly every 196 years from accreted material taken from the red giant. (TNG episode: "Evolution")
The Rosette trinary was a trinary star in the Rosette Nebula. It was made up of two suns orbiting a neutron star. The neutron star drew matter from the other two, and was a very rare sight. One sun was yellow-orange, the other was scarlet red, and they were noticeably different sizes and orbited in different planes. James T. Kirk saw the system up close with his father George Samuel Kirk, Sr. and Robert April in the year 2249, when he was 16 years old, during a pivotal life experience. (TOS novel: Best Destiny)
Neutron binaries and trinaries
On July 31, 2151, the Enterprise (NX-class) passed close to a cluster of three neutron stars as well as J'ral, a J'ral class supernova remnant. (ENT episode: "Civilization", ST reference: Star Charts)
In 2270, a Federation scout discovered a pair of neutron stars orbiting each other. The wake of their orbits produced severe gravitational fluctuations and spatial interphase. The USS Hood was assigned to investigate the phenomena, but became trapped inside for at least eight days. By the time the USS Enterprise entered the spinning binary system, many of the crew of the Hood had died. (FASA RPG - Adventure Book module: Ghosts of Conscience)
Two neutron stars could orbit each other so long as the gravitational field of each individual star was stronger than the combined tidal forces. If the orbit of one of the stars decayed and the pair got too close, tidal forces would trigger an explosion rivaling a small supernova and eject the primary mass outward at relativistic speeds. Such an explosion happened in 2375, seen by USS Voyager. While observing the decaying stars, the crew also prevented a Qavok plot to destroy the Lekk homeworld by triggering the star's destruction at a point where the primary mass would eventually intercept the Lekk system, also preventing an attempt by the Xorm to do the same to the Qavok. Using a stolen Qavok ship, Voyager was able to trigger the star's final collapse at a point where the mass expulsion would completely depart the galaxy with no harm to any known inhabited system. (VOY novel: Death of a Neutron Star)
The collision of two neutron stars in the Delta Quadrant resulted in a class 9 neutronic wavefront known by the Borg designation 34792. The energy wave traveled 200,000 km/sec, was 3.6 light years across. Even 15 hours ahead of the storm, neutron radiation effects could be felt. This wavefront was witnessed by USS Voyager in 2376. (VOY episode: "Fair Haven")
- Beta Herculani system
- Beta Niobe (after 2269)
- Beta Proxima system
- Epsilon Anubis B
- Great Pulsar
- Occultus Ora
- Rosette trinary
- Near Starbase 25-Alpha
|By class and type||class O blue-violet star • class B blue star • class A blue-white star • class F white star (white dwarf) • class G yellow star (yellow dwarf • yellow giant) • class K orange star (orange giant) • class M red star (red dwarf • red giant) • boson star • brown dwarf • green star • N-type star • R-type star • S-type star • D-type star|
|By size or makeup||black hole/black star • carbon star • dwarf star (brown dwarf • red dwarf • white dwarf • yellow dwarf) • giant star (blue giant • red giant • orange giant • yellow giant) • Lazarus star • microstar • neutron star (collapsar • magnetar • pulsar) • protostar • supergiant star • variable star • white hole • Wolf-Rayet star|
Appearances and references
- TNG episode: "Evolution"
- TOS comic: "Siege in Superspace"
- TOS comic: "The Savage Within"
- TOS novel: The Abode of Life
- TOS novel: Best Destiny
- TOS novel: The Brave and the Bold
- TOS novel: Death Count
- TOS novel: No Time Like the Past
- TNG short story: "Reciprocity"
- VOY novel: Death of a Neutron Star
- TTN novel: Sword of Damocles
- FASA RPG - Adventure Book module: Ghosts of Conscience
- TNG episode: "The Masterpiece Society"
- ENT episode: "Civilization"
- DS9 episode: "Visionary"
- VOY episode: "Prey"
- VOY episode: "Fair Haven"
- TOS - Star Trek 2 novelization: Tomorrow is Yesterday
- TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool
- TOS novel: The Abode of Life
- TOS novel: Uhura's Song
- TOS novel: Chain of Attack
- TOS novel: Time For Yesterday
- TOS novel: The Final Nexus
- TOS novel: The Great Starship Race
- TOS - The Janus Gate novel: Future Imperfect
- TOS novel: Ex Machina
- TOS novel: Captain's Peril
- TOS short story: "Indomitable"
- ST novel: Federation
- ST novel: Articles of the Federation
- ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals
- ST - Gateways novel: Chainmail
- TNG novel: Q-Strike
- TNG novel: Q & A
- TNG short story: "Reciprocity"
- Star Trek novel: Preserver
- DS9 - Dominion War novel: Behind Enemy Lines
- DS9 - Rebels novel: The Conquered)
- ENT novel: Last Full Measure
- VOY short story: "Seventh Heaven"
- VOY novel: The Final Fury