Light from Dark

Neutron stars are the densest matter aggregate in the cosmos. Black holes go one better by being holes in the fabric of spacetime. Yet these dark demons generate tremendous light. It’s all in the spin.

Neutron stars and black holes rotate at high speeds. Nearby gases are revved by the magnetic currents from the spin of these massive densities.

“The region that hosts black holes and neutron stars is permeated by an extremely hot gas of charged particles. The magnetic field lines dragged by the chaotic motions of the gas drive vigorous magnetic reconnection. Turbulence and magnetic reconnection – a process in which magnetic field lines tear and rapidly reconnect – conspire together to accelerate particles, boosting them to velocities that approach the speed of light,” explained Italian astrophysicist Luca Comisso.

Furiously flung into the far reaches of space, escaping particles boast of their close encounter with monstrous darkness with a show of light.


Luca Comisso & Lorenzo Sironi, “The interplay of magnetically dominated turbulence and magnetic reconnection in producing nonthermal particles,” The Astrophysical Journal (27 November 2019).

A new theory for how black holes and neutron stars shine bright,” ScienceDaily (27 November 2019).