The neutron star collision


Neutron stars are pretty stunning, not to mention one of the great mysteries of the universe. They are the collapsed cores of large stars, as well as being the smallest and densest stars we know to exist. Ion fact, neutron stars have a mass that equates to around twice the density of the Sun! The deaths of these stars is thought to be responsible for producing much of the gold in the universe, but that’s another story!

Let’s be honest, the universe is a pretty stunning place, and there is still so much we don’t know about it. But, we are finding out more and more with every passing year, and it’s important to understand how different parts of the universe work. Learning about the neutron star collision is an important way of discovering more about the universe as a whole, so let’s look a little closer at this celestial phenomenon.

The event

This year saw two neutron stars collide and unite into one, sending waves of excitement through the scientific community. This new larger object eventually collapsed fairly soon after it had formed, but, it told us a lot about the universe as well as density. We know that neutron stars are really dense because they fit all the matter from a star into a much smaller sized object. Consider this – scientists estimate that one teaspoon of the mass inside a neutron star could weigh as much as one billion tons!

The discovery

So how exactly did scientists discover this event? It’s not like they were hanging around up in space and witnessed it happen. This never-before-seen astronomical event was completely unprecedented, and it was observed via light from gravitational waves. This is something scientists have wanted to do for years, and now the time has finally come. It is a discovery that has completely changed many of the theories scientists had about the universe and stars. It also tells us a lot more about the heaviest elements in our universe, and is one of the most significant discoveries in astronomy history.

Theories

There have been several new theories thrown up in the wake of this discovery. An event like this would be impossible to create on Earth, but that hasn’t stopped scientists from hypothesizing about the properties of these stars. Some believe them to have a consistency not dissimilar to Play-Doh, while others believe them to be much more rigid. Because neutron stars are smaller than regular stars, it’s likely they would take less time to collapse. Scientists believe they have a clearer idea about the composition and size range of these stars.

Neutron stars are pretty amazing, and this unprecedented event has got scientists excited because we have never seen anything like it before. It has allowed us to learn more about how neutron stars work, and what their makeup is like. Astronomers now know more about these stars than they have ever known before, but there is still even more to learn about them! As scientists continue to study more about this seismic event, it could prove to be a real game-changer in the world of science.