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💫Source of gravitational waves for the first time


For the first time, Hubble has observed the source of gravitational waves: the merging of two neutron stars. This merger created a visible counterpart known as a kilonova — an object first predicted by theory more than 30 ago. This event also provides the strongest evidence yet that short duration gamma-ray bursts are caused by mergers of neutron stars. These observations may help solve another long-standing question in astronomy: the origin of heavy chemical elements, like gold and platinum. In the merger of two neutron stars, the conditions appear just right for their production.

Credit:
ESA/Hubble, NASA


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