Feb 23, 2023
Over 150 million years ago, two neutron stars collided in an amazing way. Scientists call it a kilonova.
The stars that hit each other are bigger than our own sun.
“It is a perfect explosion in several ways. It is beautiful…,” scientist Albert Sneppen told The Guardian.
Sneppen and the other researchers used data from the Hubble Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile. They looked at gravitational waves and radio waves. The scientists also examined ultraviolet and infrared light. The light traveled 150 million light years to reach Earth. A light year is 5.9 trillion miles.
The blast was forceful. Scientists believe it had a number of effects.
“Given the… nature of the…conditions…there may well be…physics here that we don’t understand yet,” Darach Watson wrote. He helped write the study on the collision.
Sneppen and Watson hypothesize that the two neutron stars briefly formed a superdense neutron. Then, it collapsed into a black hole. They think the stars created some elements when they collided. Those likely include gold, platinum, and uranium.
“This is…an exciting challenge…” Sneppen said of the chance to keep researching the kilonova. “The game is on.”
Photo from Reuters.
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