Two neutron stars collide and the explosion stuns astronomers

17/10/2017

The August 17 event was detected by about 70 ground- and space-based observatories, marking the first time a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light.The researchers say the event they observed occurred about 130 million years ago as two neutron stars were in their final moments of orbiting each other. As the stars spiralled closer together, they distorted the surrounding space-time, giving off energy in the form of gravitational waves before smashing into each other. As they collided, they emitted a "fireball" of gamma rays the new observations show that heavy elements such as lead and gold are created during these collisions,James talks with Professor Mark Hannan School of Physics & Astronomy Cardiff University.