Binary platinum signals review questions and answers pdf
The collision of two neutron stars, seen in an artist's rendering, created both gravitational waves and gamma rays. Researchers used those signals to locate the event with optical telescopes. For the first time, scientists have caught two neutron stars in the act of colliding, revealing that these strange smashups are the source of heavy elements such as gold and platinum. The discovery, announced Monday at a news conference and in scientific reports written by some 3, researchers, solves a long-standing mystery about the origin of these heavy elements — which are found in everything from wedding rings to cellphones to nuclear weapons.
It's also a dramatic demonstration of how astrophysics is being transformed by humanity's newfound ability to detect gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time that are created when massive objects spin around each other and finally collide. It's so beautiful it makes me want to cry. It's the fulfillment of dozens, hundreds, thousands of people's efforts, but it's also the fulfillment of an idea suddenly becoming real," says Peter Saulson of Syracuse University, who has spent more than three decades working on the detection of gravitational waves.
Albert Einstein predicted the existence of these ripples more than a century ago, but scientists didn't manage to detect them until Until now, they'd made only four such detections, and each time the distortions in space-time were caused by the collision of two black holes. That bizarre phenomenon, however, can't normally be seen by telescopes that look for light.
Neutron starsby contrast, spew out visible cosmic fireworks when they come together. These incredibly dense stars are as small as cities like New York and yet have more mass than our sun.
In this case, what scientists managed to spot was a pair of neutron stars that likely spent more than 11 billion years circling each other more and more closely before finally slamming together about million years ago. This explosive binary platinum signals review questions and answers pdf created ripples in space-time that traveled all binary platinum signals review questions and answers pdf way to Earth, arriving at 8: He had been in a mundane organizational meeting, which was immediately abandoned.
Importantly, two seconds after the gravitational waves' detection, an orbiting NASA telescope registered an extremely powerful explosion called a gamma ray burst. Binary platinum signals review questions and answers pdf apparently came from the same region of the sky that had produced the gravitational waves. Gravitational wave observatories, like this one in Italy, use giant arms to measure tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time.
That lab had detected the waves, too, and their data helped pinpoint the exact patch of sky where astronomers should aim their telescopes.
The binary platinum signals review questions and answers pdf was in the southern skies, so that meant the first place where astronomers could get to work was Chile. Astronomer Benjamin Shappee was there — and he was asleep. He and his colleagues began a mad scramble to figure out which galaxies to look at with which telescopes. As soon as the sun went down in Chile, they started searching for a new source of light among the familiar stars. And so at that point, I said, 'This is almost too easy.
Less than 11 hours after the gravitational-wave detectors sounded the alarm, astronomers had their first glimpse of this never-before-seen event involving the neutron stars. The Carnegie team worked quickly to make observations, because it had only about an hour until this spot was no longer visible in the sky. It was just completely unexpected, out of the binary platinum signals review questions and answers pdf Shappee says.
It was kind of like searching for treasure and then seeing X marks the spot. What all the images showed was a brand-new point of light that started out blueish and then faded to red. This didn't completely match what theorists thought colliding neutron stars should look like — but it was all close enough that Daniel Kasena theoretical astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, found the whole experience a little weird.
He spent late nights watching the data come in and says the colliding stars spewed out a big cloud of debris. It's gold and platinum, but it's mixed in with what you'd call just regular radioactive waste, and there's this big radioactive waste cloud that just starts mushrooming out from the merger site," Kasen says.
According to his estimates, this neutron star collision produced around Earth masses of pure gold, and maybe Earth masses of platinum. He personally has a platinum wedding ring and notes that "it's crazy to think that these things that seem very far out and kind of exotic actually impact the world and us in kind of intimate ways.
The discovery has consumed the astronomical community in recent weeks. It's a new way to look at the universe. What could gravitational waves help astronomers see next? Perhaps the next cataclysm binary platinum signals review questions and answers pdf deck will be something like a black hole colliding with a neutron star.
Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. The Two-Way In an astonishing discovery, astronomers used gravitational waves to locate two neutron stars smashing together. The collision created Earth masses of pure gold, along with other elements. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. October 16, Heard on All Things Considered. Here's a rendering of the neutron-star collision.
Here's how it actually looked to astronomers.
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