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New frontier for science as astronomers witness neutron stars colliding | Science | The Guardian

New frontier for science as astronomers witness neutron stars colliding | Science | The Guardian: The collision of a pair of neutron stars, marked by ripples through the fabric of space-time and a flash brighter than a billion suns, has been witnessed for the first time in the most intensely observed astronomical event to date.

The extraordinary sequence, in which the two ultra-dense stars spiralled inwards, violently collided and, in all likelihood, immediately collapsed into a black hole, was first picked up by the US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo).

As its twin detectors, in Louisiana and Washington state, picked up tremors in space-time that had spilled out from the merger 130m light years away, an alert went out to astronomers across the globe. Within hours, 70 space- and ground-based telescopes swivelled to observe the red-tinged afterglow, making it the first cosmic event to be “seen” in both gravitational waves and light.
New frontier for science as astronomers witness neutron stars colliding | Science | The GuardianSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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