Astronomers at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), which is primarily intended to measure gravitational waves, have for the second time detected waves based on the collision of two distant neutron stars. (Neutron stars are the remnants of stars that were very dense and did not have the mass of a black hole.)
LIGO scientists have actually been detecting gravitational waves from this collision since last April. But the source of these waves could not be found until now. They wrote in their statement that the collision/merger of these 2 neutron stars is much more massive than expected. This will give us the opportunity to study how these newly formed stars formed and how they can change over time.
A paper on the discovery was presented at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Hawaii earlier this month and is still being submitted to The Astronomical Journal. According to the data obtained by LIGO, the collision of these two neutron stars is much larger than the collision of two stars in our Milky Way Galaxy that has been detected before.
So, in order to explain this event more accurately, scientists are going to import more (mass) scale models than before. That's because the integration is unusually heavy for current models.
"Based on previous measurements, we have detected 17 binary neutron star systems in our galaxy and estimated their masses. "What's surprising now is that these two neutron star mergers are much more massive than expected," said Ben Farr, a LIGO and University of Oregon researcher.
This article is featured on Curiosity, a partner science website.
Source: Gravitational Waves Surge Through the Fabric of Space and Time After Neutron Stars Violently Collide [LIGO via SciTechDaily]
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