CBS and many other news outlets and technical publications reported that two neutron stars, one exceeding the mass of the sun by 1.6 times, collided with a smaller, but a still, significant star, collided “producing a so-called “kilonova” explosion that seeded the local environment with a flood of heavy elements ranging from gold and platinum to uranium and beyond, scientists said Monday.” These neutron stars were formed in supernova explosions approximately 2 billion years after the big bang.
After crashing together at nearly the speed of light, “radiating gravitational waves and a torrent of electromagnetic radiation that reached Earth at roughly the same moment 130 million years after the fact.”
This collision is “an astronomical gold mine of sorts” as supernova explosions create heavy metals, that cannot alone “explain the observed abundances of gold, platinum, uranium and other heavy elements.”
“Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity. The equations indicated that massive bodies under acceleration, like two merging black holes, neutron stars or the collapsing cores of huge stars in the death throes of supernova explosions, would radiate gravitational energy in the form of waves distorting the fabric of spacetime.”
For more information, visit: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gravitational-waves-neutron-star-collision-ligo/
The Applied Technology Institute provides a broad range of Space- and Satellite-related short courses. For a listing of available courses see: