Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

June 16, 1995

Explanation: If the Earth could somehow be transformed to the ultra-high density of a neutron star , it might appear as it does in the above computer generated figure. Due to the very strong gravitational field, the neutron star distorts light from the background sky greatly. If you look closely, two images of the constellation Orion are visible. The gravity of this particular neutron star is so great that no part of the neutron star is blocked from view - light is pulled around by gravity even from the back of the neutron star.

Next: Pleiades star cluster

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.