Research report 2014 - Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
A new neutrino-emission asymmetry in forming neutron stars
SummaryNeutron stars are born as extremely hot and dense objects at the centers of massive stars exploding as supernovae. They cool by intense emission of neutrinos. Three-dimensional supercomputer simulations at the very forefront of current modelling efforts reveal the stunning and unexpected possibility that this neutrino emission can develop a hemispheric (dipolar) asymmetry. If this new neutrino-hydrodynamical instability happens in nature, it will lead to a recoil acceleration of the neutron star and will have important consequences for the formation of chemical elements in stellar explosions.