Starbursts and Supernovas!

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Photo Credit: SciTech Daily

Two neutron stars in a nearby galaxy collided 130 million years ago. The event was recorded on 17 August, 2017 by thousands of scientists in 70 laboratories across the world! A neutron star is ‘the collapsed core’, or heart of a star that emerges when a star bursts in a spectacular explosion called a supernova.

One scientist described each of the dying stars as having as much energy as our sun, but crammed into a really small volume, the size of a mid-sized city. These two neutron stars collided with each other and let out gravitational waves so intense that they were detected here on earth by the LIGO laboratory, the laboratory set up by the researchers who just won the Nobel Prize in Physics

We know that dying and dead stars create black holes and that when these collide, they create gravitational waves and ripples in the universe. This shifts space and time. After hearing the gravitational waves, for the first time in the history of man, telescopes at 70 laboratories around the world were able to SEE the event happening as the neutron stars colliding led to a burst of brilliant light – a gamma ray burst – that lasted for 2 seconds. The collision also led to the spewing out of precious metals – gold, and platinum – all across the universe!

This adds a different dimension to the event. Whereas over the past two years, scientists have been able to use the data they ‘heard’ from such collisions, ‘seeing’ the event and what happens after, gives them so many more clues to help unlock the mysteries of our universe!

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