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June 26 2013
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.
"Such conditions are only reached in neutron stars, the most dense objects in the universe besides black holes," said astronomer José Pons of Alicante University in Spain.
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