Stringent constraints on neutron-star radii from multimessenger observations and nuclear theory

Collin D. Capano, Ingo Tews, Stephanie M. Brown, Ben Margalit, Soumi De, Sumit Kumar, Duncan A. Brown, Badri Krishnan, Sanjay Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

264 Scopus citations


The properties of neutron stars are determined by the nature of the matter that they contain. These properties can be constrained by measurements of the star’s size. We obtain stringent constraints on neutron-star radii by combining multimessenger observations of the binary neutron-star merger GW170817 with nuclear theory that best accounts for density-dependent uncertainties in the equation of state. We construct equations of state constrained by chiral effective field theory and marginalize over these using the gravitational-wave observations. Combining this with the electromagnetic observations of the merger remnant that imply the presence of a short-lived hypermassive neutron star, we find that the radius of a 1.4 M neutron star is R1.4M⊙=11.0−0.6+0.9km (90% credible interval). Using this constraint, we show that neutron stars are unlikely to be disrupted in neutron star–black hole mergers; subsequently, such events will not produce observable electromagnetic emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalNature Astronomy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Stringent constraints on neutron-star radii from multimessenger observations and nuclear theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this