Video compliments of SciNews
The Laser Interferometry Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) team has done it again. They have again detected gravitational waves predicted by Einstein. This time the waves were created by the merger of 2 neutron stars creating an explosion larger than a supernova. This explosion was so bright it was termed a "kilonova". A nova is an explosion of a medium-sized star, like our Sun when it dies. The nova explosion occurs when the star has finished burning through its nuclear fuel and then implodes. The implosion is drastic and sudden, resulting in the explosion and creation of a white dwarf.
Aa kilonova occurs when a massive star collapses (at least 10 times our Sun) or 2 large stellar masses collide. In this case, 2 neutron stars (that were formerly orbiting each other) came together and finally combined into a massive explosion, sending a gravitational shock wave through space. A kilonova is an explosion so large, it is 1,000 times brighter than a nova and creates x-rays and gamma rays that can be detected by the Chandra Space Telescope.
This explosion was in a galaxy about 130,000,000 light years away. This is the type of explosion that creates some of the heavier elements in the periodic table such as gold and platinum. The explosion occurred billions of years ago, but the light from this historic even is only reaching Earth now. Scientists were fortunate to actually see the light before, during and after the historic merging of the neutron stars and then, they detected the resulting gravitational wave from the event!
Congratulations to the LIGO team for another astronomical milestone.
Maddalena Environmental Inc.