Monday, October 16, 2017

Hubble observes first kilonova | NASA/ESA



Hubble observes source of gravitational waves for the first time | Hubblecast 103: Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed a visible counterpart to gravitational waves for the first time: a kilonova from merging neutron stars.

For the first time, Hubble has observed the source of a gravitational wave: the merging of two neutron stars. This merger created a kilonova—an object first predicted by theory more than 30 ago. This event also provides the strongest evidence yet that short duration gamma-ray bursts are caused by mergers of neutron stars. These observations may help solve another long-standing question in astronomy: the origin of heavy chemical elements, like gold and platinum. In the merger of two neutron stars, the conditions appear just right for their production.

Credit: NASA and ESA
Duration: 4 minutes, 19 seconds
Release Date: October 16, 2017


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