Sunday, October 22, 2017

SUNDAY SPECIAL: Neutron Star Merger Photos

 Earlier this week, scientists at the world were stunned when a neutron star merger (a kilonova) was observed for the first time in conjunction with the discovery of gravitational waves from the same event. To celebrate this milestone in astronomy, here are some of the stunning images of the event:

The kilonova was spotted in the galaxy NGC 4993 by the Hubble Space Telescope. The kilonova is visible as a golden-yellow dot in this photo to the upper left of the very bright galactic centre . 
A wider view of NGC 4993 was taken by the European Southern Observatory using the Visible MultiObject Spectrography from its Very Large Telescope. The kilonova explosion is visible here as the small, white speck immediately above and to the left of the galaxy's centre.

The kilonova visible in ultraviolet light. This photo was taken by NASA’s Swift telescope using false colours from data extracted from three ultraviolet filters.
The kilonova observed by NASA's Hubble and Chandra Observatory respectively. While Hubble saw optical and infrared light from hot debris around the kilonova, Chandra saw an X-ray afterglow.


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