Amazing images capture the birth of a DOUBLE star system for the first time: Scientists say the two celestial objects are so close together that they 'locked in a death spiral'


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Amazing images capture the birth of a DOUBLE star system for the first time: Scientists say the two celestial objects are so close together that they 'locked in a death spiral'

The three panels represent moments before, when and after the faint supernova iPTF14gqr, visible in the middle panel, appeared in the outskirts of a spiral galaxy located 920 million light years away from us. The massive star that died in the supernova left behind a neutron star in a very tight binary system.

A massive star's unusual death could have created a compact binary neutron star.

The huge starexploded into a surprisingly faint supernova on the outskirts of a spiral galaxy located 920 million light years away from us.

Observations suggest that the dying star had an unseen companion which 

Neutron star mergers are believed to generate ripples in the fabric of space-time known as 'gravitational waves'. 

A supernova occurs when a massive star - at least eight times the mass of the sun - exhausts its nuclear fuel.

This causes the core to collapse and then rebound outward in a powerful explosion.

After the star's outer layers have been blasted away, all that remains is a dense neutron star.

This is an exotic star about the size of a city but containing more mass than the sun.

Usually, a lot of material - many times the mass of the sun - is observed to be blasted away in a supernova.

However, the event that astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) observed, dubbed iPTF 14gqr, ejected matter only one fifth of the sun's mass.

'We saw this massive star's core collapse, but we saw remarkably little mass ejected,' said lead researcher Mansi Kasliwal.

'We call this an ultra-stripped envelope supernova and it has long been predicted that they exist.

'This is the first time we have convincingly seen core collapse of a massive star that is so devoid of matter', Dr Kasliwal said.

Neutron star mergers are believed to generate ripples in the fabric of space-time known as 'gravitational waves'. Scientists saw a powerful beam of light from the first confirmed neutron star merger – 130 million years after it started its journey across the stars (artist's impression)

Theoretical modelling guided the intepretation of these observations.

This allowed the observers to infer the presence of dense material surrounding the explosion. 

'By combining observations and theory together, we can learn so much more about these amazing events', said Anthony Piro from the Carnegie Institute for Science.

Researchers believe that the mass must have been stolen by a compact companion star, such as a white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole.

The neutron star that was left behind from the supernova must have then been born into orbit with this compact companion. 

Such events are thought to produce the heavy elements in our universe, such as gold, platinum, and uranium.

The event was first seen at Palomar Observatory as part of the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF), a nightly survey of the sky to look for transient, or short-lived, cosmic events like supernovae.

This find follows a neutron star discovery in July that 'will be remembered as one of the most studied astrophysical events in history'.

Scientists saw a powerful beam of light from the first confirmed neutron star merger – 130 million years after it started its journey across the stars.

The binary neutron star merger GW170817 occurred in a galaxy named NGC 4993.

It was first detected in 2017 by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Adv-LIGO), and by Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) observations.

When the two colossal stars merged, they generated ripples in the fabric of space-time known as 'gravitational waves'.

These waves were picked up by two extremely sensitive detectors in Washington and Louisianna on August 17 2017.

Two seconds later, a burst of gamma rays from the colliding stars was picked by Nasa's Fermi space telescope.

The research into GW170817 supports the long-held belief that when two neutron stars merge together, it triggers an ejection of radioactive material.

    
By: Daily Mail

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