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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Observing Neutron Stars Collide

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, October 16, 2017/Categories: natural history, space science, art and design, adventure

             Concept Animation of 2 Neutron Stars Colliding (credit: CalTech)

The collision of two neutron stars was observed in August. The results of the global effort to detect the event have just been published.

On August 17, 2017 for the first time ever, scientists at CalTech and elsewhere around the world detected both gravitational waves known as "ripples in space-time" as well as the light wavelengths produced and emitted at the same time. The collision of the two super-dense bodies---a teaspond of matter from a neutron star would weight ~10 million tons---occurred ~130 million years ago when the dinosaurs dominated life on Earth. The light and gravity waves just reached the Earth this summer both travelling at the speed-of-light. The dual detection of gravity and light, continue confirming the predictions laid down in Albert Einstein's General Theory Of Relativity. The results from the global collaborations between radio-telescopes and the new LIGO gravitational wave detectors has now opened entirely new ways to study astronomy, astro-physics, and cosmology.

Several of the CalTech investigators offer their impression of the new results, not publically announced until today.



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