In 2017, scientists detected X-rays following the collision of two neutron stars
It was the first time that X-rays were observed following a gamma ray burst
The X-rays were stil observable even 2 1/2 years after the collision
Scientists offer possible explanations for the X-ray emission’s strange behavior
A team of researchers can still detect lingering X-rays from a neutron star collision that happened 1,000 days prior. The prolonged X-ray emission continues to puzzle scientists.
It was on Aug. 17, 2017, when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo first detected gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars. Dubbed GW 170817, the event was observed by various telescopes from all over the world within hours of the first detection.
The initial burst was followed by a short-duration gamma ray-burst (GRB) and a slower kilonova. Nine days later, scientists detected an afterglow that was visible
It’s been three years since the landmark detection of a neutron star merger from gravitational waves. And since that day, an international team of researchers led by University of Maryland astronomer Eleonora Troja has been continuously monitoring the subsequent radiation emissions to provide the most complete picture of such an event.
Their analysis provides possible explanations for X-rays that continued to radiate from the collision long after models predicted they would stop. The study also reveals