Minn. Researchers Help In Discovery Of Neutron Stars' Collision

Minn. Researchers Help In Discovery Of Neutron Stars' Collision

The result was a cosmic catastrophe, which has always been predicted by theorists and was called "Bulanovoj" in the space are ejected heavy elements such as gold and platinum. Scientists still don't know if the collision of these stars created a bigger neutron star or even a black hole.

The huge explosion rocked the fabric of the universe, distorting spacetime. However, when the collision of the neutron stars took place, it released a gravitational wave.

Gravitational waves are predicted by General relativity and other theories of gravity.

"My favourite thing is that we confirmed that colliding neutron stars power short gamma-ray bursts, solving one of the greatest mysteries in present day high-energy astrophysics".

In NGC 4993, two neutron stars once spiraled around each other at blinding speed.

Like ripples from a stone thrown in a pond, the gravitational waves fanned out across the universe at the speed of light. In fact, it was NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope that first spotted the event, 1.7 seconds before twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories (LIGO) in Hanford, Wash. and Livingston, La., detected the spacetime ripples.

It was here the first discovery of gravitational waves was made in September 2015, confirming a prediction made by Albert Einstein 100 years ago and earning three pioneers of the project a Nobel Prize.

A gold mine on a cosmic scale has been found in a galaxy far, far away, where astronomers watched the titanic collision between two super-dense neutron stars.

'One of these ... is the puzzle of where some of the gold and other heavy elements in the cosmos have come from.

The broad spectrum of light that was gathered from the kilonova, by the numerous telescopes and observatories around the world, pointed to the presence of an abundance of these r-process elements, showing that the neutron star merger was, indeed, the source of these elements.

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Human beings were extracting gold from the ground and rivers for thousands of years before the birth of the Periodic Table of chemical elements in the late 19th century.

Once the gravitational waves in this incident were detected, scientists were able to measure the electromagnetic radiation from the collision and how it changes in the following moments. Telescopes on Earth observed this happening back in August.

A tight lid was kept on the findings until the publication of a series of papers in journals including Nature, Nature Astronomy, and Physical Review Letters. This is known as a gamma-ray burst.

In the video above, you can see a NASA animation of what happened. The startling discovery was reported across the news media this week, accompanied by imaginative graphics (like the one below) depicting the dazzling light show such a collision must have created.

The discovery has been heralded by many as the start of a new era of astrophysics, focussed on multi-messenger gravitational astrophysics.

'The 12 hours that followed are inarguably the most exciting hours of my scientific life, ' he said. "This event marks a turning point in observational astronomy and will lead to a treasure trove of scientific results".

"What has amazed me.is that with just this one measurement, we got a result right in the middle between the two rather different values that astronomers have measured recently", he said.

"It is a gift that will keep on giving".

"This detection has genuinely opened the doors to a new way of doing astrophysics".

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