Neutron star merger animation ending with kilonova explosion

This artist’s impression video shows how two tiny but very dense neutron stars merge and explode as a kilonova. Such a very rare event is expected to produce both gravitational waves and a short gamma-ray burst, both of which were observed on 17 August 2017 by LIGO–Virgo and Fermi/INTEGRAL respectively. Subsequent detailed observations with many ESO telescopes have confirmed that this object, seen in the galaxy NGC 4993 about 130 million light-years from the Earth, is indeed a kilonova. Such objects are the main source of very heavy chemical elements, such as gold and platinum in the Universe.


ESO/L. Calçada. Music: Johan B. Monell (


Julkaisupäivä:16. lokakuuta 2017 16:00
Vastaavat julkaisut:eso1733
Kesto:48 s
Frame rate:30 fps


Tyyppi:Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Neutron Star

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