Mind-blowing science explained: Neutron stars "are basically atoms as big as mountains"

These dense stars are some of the "most extreme" celestial bodies in the universe

Published September 3, 2014 5:43PM (EDT)

 (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-110713p1.html'>jupeart</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(jupeart via Shutterstock)

If you've never heard of a neutron star, prepare to have your mind blown. These celestial bodies have a number of extreme properties -- an incredibly fast rotational speed, super-dense mass and unbelievable gravitational pull -- compared to Earth, or even our own sun.

YouTube science channel Kurzgesagt, which is German for "in a nutshell," explains the incredible properties of a neutron star. "They're like giant atom cores," the video explains, "unbelievably dense and violent." Learn something new about this wonder of space below:

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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