Good question, Mike!
Neutron Stars actually exert a lot of gravity for objects as small
as they are (about 10 kilometers in radius). In fact, if you stood on
the surface of a neutron star you would feel about 200 Billion times
more gravity than here on Earth (which would not be healthy)!
For those interested in how to get that number, I work it out below:
Recall Newton's Equation for Gravitational Force:
F = GMm/(r^2)
We can use this classical formula to estimate the gravity on a
Neutron Star. Use the fact that a Neutron Star has about 1.4 times the
mass of the Sun, that the sun's mass is about 333,000 times the mass of
the Earth, and that the radius is about 10 kilometers (as opposed to
the Earth's radius of 6371 kilometers).
The ratio of forces is:
F(Neutron Star) / F(Earth)=(1.4)(333000)(6371^2)/(10^2)
If we run these numbers we find that the gravity on a Neutron Star
is about 2 x 10^11 times that of the Earth's. That's about 200 billion
I hope this answers your question.
(republished on 07/19/06)