by Pat Browne
The October 2017 announcement of the detection of a gravitational wave event, GW170817 from the merger of two neutron stars are producing significant discoveries across ‘the full spectrum’ of astronomical research.
This event produced not only LIGO-VIRGO gravitational wave signals but also electromagnetic (spectral) results and the gamma ray burst GRB 170817A – all from this single event. The event marks a series of significant FIRSTS from collaborating astronomical observatories.
- Gamma Ray Burst location has been determined and is located in the elliptical Galaxy NGC 4993 – See Wikipedia article on Galaxy in Hydra NGC 4993
- Spectral detection of the nucleosynthesis of heavier atomic elements that are not from supernova explosions (as theory predicts). This is a new mechanism which has now been detected via light curve and spectral analysis. See Colliding stars spark rush to solve cosmic mysteries Stellar collision confirms theoretical predictions about the periodic table.
- Gravitational Wave Detection of mergers with solar masses smaller than black hole objects
- First time a neutron star merger detected.
- First triple coincident with LIGO Livingstone, LIGO Hanford and VIRGO LIGO – https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/WA/news/ligo20170927
- First time optical the LIGO detection was followed up in the optical spectrum.
For more information on LIGO – visit the Millstone News article: http://millstonenews.com/2016/02/observing-a-storm-in-the-fabric-of-spacetime.html
Here’s a video describing in detail the significant astronomical discoveries: Ripples in Space, Flashes in Light – Caltech
For more information on how nuclear fusion in stars, and eventually core collapse or merger explosion produces nucleosynthesis of heavier elements, download the pdf – courtesy Sky and Telescope- March 2008: SkyAndTel-StarStuff pdf