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Hubble Telescope Detects a Relativistic Jet Emitted by the Collision of Two Neutron Stars

The jet was observed moving at the speed of light

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED STATES: The Hubble Space Telescope was used by astronomers to measure a rare relativistic jet created by the collision of two neutron stars.

The jet was observed to be travelling at speeds that were 99.97% of the speed of light. The explosive event, referred to as GW170817, was discovered for the first time in August 2017.

This is the first confirmed instance of a neutron star merger being detected simultaneously in gravitational waves and gamma radiation.

An important development in multi-messenger astronomy, when the same event is observed at a variety of frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum aside from gravitational waves, was made when almost 70 observatories from all over the world observed the collision’s aftermath.

The two neutron stars combined to form a black hole, which then produced an accretion disc that was fast spinning and had relativistic jets bursting from its poles. Astronomers had to spend a long time analysing the Hubble data.

“I’m amazed that Hubble could provide us with such a precise measurement, which surpasses the precision achieved by large radio VLBI telescopes dispersed across the world,” says Kunal Mooley, the paper’s lead author.

Astronomers were able to locate the collision’s location thanks to their combined observations.

The discoveries open the door for more thorough research of neutron star mergers, which can be found by gravitational wave observatories LIGO, VIRGO, and KAGRA.

The Hubble constant, which is the measurement of the rate of expansion of the cosmos, can be determined by a sufficiently large sample size of observations.

One of the main scientific objectives of the Hubble Space Telescope is to determine the Hubble constant.

The Hubble constant measured in the nearby universe differs from the Hubble constant currently anticipated for the early universe.

One of astrophysics‘ greatest unanswered puzzles is this difference. Astronomers may be able to reconcile the conflict through research on more relativistic jets.

Also Read: Cosmic Bubble Wrap: NASA’S Hubble Telescope Clicks a Stunner

 

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  • Russell Chattaraj
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    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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