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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Kilonova: One of the Rarest Astronomical Phenomena

Kilonova is a merger between two neutron stars

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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: If you are a science enthusiast, you may have heard of a Supernova, but many people are unaware of what a Kilonova is.

NASA explains that, Kilonova is a merger between two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole that results in an explosion, and such mergers are also suggested to be the source of brief gamma-ray bursts.

A “kilonova” event, produced a gravitational wave (GW) signal in August 2017 that astronomers detected.

3-D view of Roman Space Telescope. Photo Credit: roman.gsfc.nasa.gov

This kilonova illustration above shows the collision of two neutron stars. The nuclei of stars that imploded due to gravity during supernova explosions are known as neutron stars. 

They are just approximately 6 miles (10 km) broad but have masses comparable to the Sun. Massive explosions are produced when they come into contact because the debris they release travels at the speed of light.

According to scientists, these explosions are where heavy metals like gold, platinum, and strontium are thought to originate.

Kilonova representation in the above image shows Bright blue neutron stars are crashing into one another. 

From the impact, blue jets of various diameters shoot off in all directions. 

NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Telescope, set to launch no later than May 2027, will periodically scan the same area of the sky on a regular basis.

Researchers will utilise the information to detect kilonovae and assist astronomers in determining how frequently, how much energy, and how far away these events occur.

NASA explained that a survey telescope has tremendous potential, but it also generates a large volume of data that calls for precision machine learning. 

Astronomers are overcoming this problem by creating software to automate these searches.

In the end, Roman’s massive data sets will help researchers answer some of the following questions about kilonovae: What happens after a collision between two neutron stars? Is it a single neutron star, a black hole, or something else?

Roman will help us obtain the statistical data that scientists need to make significant strides.

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Also Read: NASA’s Most-awaited Mission Artemis 1 Set to Launch on November 14

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  • Russell Chattaraj

    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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