Artist’s impression of merging neutron stars

This artist’s impression shows two tiny but very dense neutron stars at the point at which they merge and explode as a kilonova. Such a very rare event is expected to produce both gravitational waves and a short gamma-ray burst, both of which were observed on 17 August 2017 by LIGO–Virgo and Fermi/INTEGRAL respectively. Subsequent detailed observations with many ESO telescopes confirmed that this object, seen in the galaxy NGC 4993 about 130 million light-years from the Earth, is indeed a kilonova. Such objects are the main source of very heavy chemical elements, such as gold and platinum, in the Universe.

Mynd/Myndskeið:

ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser

Um myndina

Auðkenni:eso1733q
Tegund:Uppdráttur
Útgáfudagur:Okt 16, 2017, 16:00 CEST
Tengdar fréttatilkynningar:eso1733
Stærð:3840 x 2160 px

Um fyrirbærið

Tegund:Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Neutron Star
Flokkur:Illustrations

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