Kilonova! Gravitational Waves AND Radiation Detected From a Neutron Star Collision

Astronomers have made the groundbreaking detection of two neutron stars colliding in a galaxy 130 million light years away. They detected the gravitational waves AND the blast of radiation released from the collision, observing a kilonova for the first time.

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Team: Fraser Cain – @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com
Karla Thompson – @karlaii / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw
Chad Weber – weber.chad@gmail.com
Chloe Cain – Instagram: @chloegwen2001

I know we’ve been talking about gravitational waves quite a bit here on the Guide to Space, and a few episodes ago, I hinted at the tantalizing possibility that gravitational waves could, maybe, perhaps, be used to detect colliding neutron stars.

You know, once more sensitive instruments came online, and physicists tweaked and tuned them. Well, it turns out such a detection had already been made when I recorded that, now, hilariously out of date video.

But it gets even better. At the same time they detected the rippling distortion of spacetime produced by the gravitational waves, different teams of astronomers were actually able to watch blast of radiation released by the neutron star using every wavelength at their disposal.

They detected the gravitational waves and then saw the collision in the sky. I promise you, this is one of the biggest discoveries of the year.



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