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Neutron stars are remarkably smooth thanks to their intense gravity

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Neutron stars are the remnants of a supernova

Shutterstock/Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski

Neutron stars are so dense that their surfaces may only vary in height by up to 0.1 millimetres, thanks to their extreme gravity.

The remnant cores of stars that have gone supernova, neutron stars are among the densest known objects in the universe. They can contain up to twice the mass of our sun packed into an incredibly small space just two dozen kilometres across, the size of a city.

The intense gravitational pull of neutron stars means that their surfaces, a thin crust of hydrogen and helium, …