A team of researchers observed the release of powerful gravitational ways from a collision between two very dense dead stars. This is the second time when the Ligo-Virgo array detects a signal of this type.
The scale of the event is quite impressive as the two neutron stars have a total mass that is up to three times heavier than our sun. Such a coalescing system is entirely new within the solar system, and the mere existence poses some interesting questions.
Binary neutron star systems have been observed in the past with the help of radio telescopes, but the biggest one was up to 2.7 times the mass of the Sun. When the researchers try to explain how this type of system appears, they also have to take into account that such large systems are quite rare within our galaxy.
Powerful gravitational waves emitted by a collision between dense dead stars
The Ligo-Virgo initiative harnesses the potential of three laser interferometers. To are based in the US, in Washington and Louisiana. The third one is located in Pisa, Italy. Together, the three facilities scan the cosmos as they attempt to determine the specific vibrations released by extreme cosmic events.
Most of the events that were located, in the past, where collisions between black holes took place, with the sole exception being a neutron star merger, which took place in August 2017. That event was highlighted by the release of an intense flash of light that covered several wavelengths and was detected by many telescopes from all over the world.
Interestingly, this was not the case for the new detection. However, the discovery was recorded by only one of the three labs, and it considerably harder to track down the origin in this context. One of the lead researchers has also stated that there is a real difference between the veritable signal and noises. Scientists are confident that the signal is real.
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