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Astronomy News (LIGO observatory)

PostPosted: October 17th, 2017, 2:43 am
by BadgerJelly
On Monday, a team of thousands of LIGO scientists around the globe published an incredible finding spread throughout several papers in the journal Physical Review Letters. Not only did these scientists detect, for the first time, the gravitational waves produced from two colliding neutron stars, but they were able to pinpoint their location in the sky and witness the event with optical and electromagnetic telescopes.

“It’s one of the most complete stories of an astrophysical event that you could possibly imagine,” says LIGO physicist Peter Saulson at Syracuse University.

Each data source tells a different part of the story.

The gravitational waves tell physicists how large and how far away the objects are, and allow scientists to recreate the moments before they collided. Then the observations in optical light and electromagnetic waves fill in the blanks that gravitational waves can’t answer. They help astronomers nail down exactly what the objects were made out of, and which elements their collisions produced. In this case, the scientists were able to conclude that the resulting explosion from a neutron star merger produces heavy elements like gold, platinum, and uranium (which has been previously theorized but not confirmed by direct observation).

Re: Astronomy News (LIGO observatory)

PostPosted: October 17th, 2017, 3:42 am
by BurtJordaan
Extremely cool! :))

Re: Astronomy News (LIGO observatory)

PostPosted: October 17th, 2017, 12:55 pm
by TheVat
Yep. I posted a similar thread over in A&C....

Fun to see R-process elements beings created!