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If strange quark stars really do exist, they are very weird objects.
There may be yet another stage beyond that of quark stars. A study led by De-Chang Dai of the University at Buffalo (N.Y.) claims that the deaths of very massive stars may lead to electroweak stars that approach even closer to the fatal black hole limit.
There may be many strangelets in the universe, existing independently of the quark stars that were able to produce them.
A quark star, by contrast, is expected to cool quickly enough to match the observation (by emitting abundant neutrinos very early in life).
Walter proposes that the X-ray source isn't a quark star but merely a hot spot on an ordinary neutron star.
A disrupted quark star could litter space with tiny but massive shards called "quark nuggets" or "strangelets." These could range from microscopic bits hardly larger than an atomic nucleus up to pebble- or boulder-size chunks.
A quark star would consist entirely of the building blocks of matter called quarks, but they wouldn't be combined into more massive particles, as they are in all matter known to date.
That value is about half of what's expected if the object were a neutron star, but about right if it were a quark star. A report on the findings is scheduled to appear in the June 20 Astrophysical Journal.
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