Colliding stars create a brilliant light and gravitational waves

Stars collide. Courtsey: Goddard Space Flight Center.PNG

GREENBELT, MD (WACH) --Where's the gold? It’s in space! The astronomy world received a jolt yesterday, detecting the first visible signs of an object causing gravitational waves. On August 17, scientists observed an event called a "Kilonova." It's a collision between two neutron stars producing a massive explosion believed to be the source of heavy metals like gold and platinum. The collision happened in a galaxy far away, called "N-G-C 4-9-9-3," reaching earth after traveling 130 million light years. Scientists picked up gravitational waves from the explosion, ripples in space-time caused by cosmic events. Their existence was first predicted by Albert Einstein, but, never detected before by the collision of two stars. Before August, the only other gravity waves were generated by colliding black holes, so, astronomers couldn't see anything, making this very first-ever observation of the cosmic event with a conventional telescope.

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