NICER Lensing

  • Released Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission will study neutron stars, the densest known objects in the cosmos. These neutron star animations and graphics highlight some of their unique characteristics.

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With the mass of 1.5-2 suns compressed into a city-size volume, neutron stars exert a powerful gravitational force, even on the light emitted from their surfaces. For a fixed mass, the smaller the star, the more strongly light paths (pink arrows) are "bent," so that a distant observer (to the right, in this animation) can see more of the otherwise invisible far side of the star.

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:47 PM EDT.


This visualization is related to the following missions: