Space.com looks hungrily to the stars… neutron stars, where a whole new form of matter makes seriously strange space spaghetti:
A rare state of matter dubbed “nuclear pasta” appears to exist only inside ultra-dense objects called neutron stars, astronomers say.
There, the nuclei of atoms get crammed together so tightly that they arrange themselves in patterns akin to pasta shapes — some in flat sheets like lasagna and others in spirals like fusilli. And these formations are likely responsible for limiting the maximum rotation speed of these stars, according to a new study.
But the pasta matter could explain the absence of pulsars with longer spin periods. The researchers realized that if atomic nuclei inside the stars were reorganizing into pasta formations, this matter would increase the electric resistivity of the stars, making it harder for electrons to travel through the material. This, in turn, would cause the stars’ magnetic fields to dissipate much faster than expected. Normally, pulsars slow their spin down by radiating electromagnetic waves, which causes the stars to lose angular momentum. But if the stars’ magnetic fields are already limited, as would happen with pasta-matter, they cannot radiate electromagnetic waves as strongly, so they cannot spin down.