Major astronomical discovery sees neutron stars collide

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Description

Scientists from The University of Western Australia have helped usher in a new dawn of astronomy by assisting with the detection of one of the greatest phenomena ever witnessed in astronomy: the collision of two neutron stars 120 million light-years away.

On 17 August 2017 a burst of gravitational waves (ripples in space-time) was detected by the US and European gravitational wave detectors LIGO and Virgo. Within seconds, a burst of gamma rays was detected by NASA. Several hours later it emitted an optical glow, which was monitored by ground-based telescopes across the globe, including The University of Western Australia’s Zadko Telescope.

The Zadko Telescope, operated by UWA’s School of Physics and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), monitored the explosion for four days. The data will be combined with other OzGrav observations to understand the exotic physics unfolding after the collision.

Period17 Oct 2017

Media contributions

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Media contributions

  • TitleMajor astronomical discovery sees neutron stars collide
    Degree of recognitionRegional
    Media name/outletUniversity News
    Media typeWeb
    CountryAustralia
    Date17/10/17
    DescriptionScientists from The University of Western Australia have helped usher in a new dawn of astronomy by assisting with the detection of one of the greatest phenomena ever witnessed in astronomy: the collision of two neutron stars 120 million light-years away.
    On 17 August 2017 a burst of gravitational waves (ripples in space-time) was detected by the US and European gravitational wave detectors LIGO and Virgo. Within seconds, a burst of gamma rays was detected by NASA. Several hours later it emitted an optical glow, which was monitored by ground-based telescopes across the globe, including The University of Western Australia’s Zadko Telescope.
    The Zadko Telescope, operated by UWA’s School of Physics and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), monitored the explosion for four days. The data will be combined with other OzGrav observations to understand the exotic physics unfolding after the collision.
    Producer/AuthorDavid Stacey
    URLwww.news.uwa.edu.au/2017101710040/international/major-astronomical-discovery-sees-neutron-stars-collide
    PersonsDavid Coward