Neutron stars: New telescope detects dead suns colliding
Thanks to a potent new telescope, astronomers can now for the first time see the collision of neutron stars, or dead suns.
Neutron star collisions are essential to our comprehension of the universe.
Heavy metals that generated stars and planets like our own billions of years ago are believed to have been produced by them.
The telescope must work quickly to find the crashes because the light from them is only visible for a few nights.
One of these collisions was seen by astronomers in 2017, but they mostly happened across it by accident.
On the crater-filled Spanish island of La Palma, the British-built Gravitational Wave Optical Transient observatory (GOTO) will now conduct a methodical search for them.
Prof. Danny Steeghs of Warwick University told me on La Palma, "When a really good detection comes along, it's all hands on deck to make the most of it."
"It's crucial to move quickly. We're looking for something that will vanish quickly; there isn't much time left ".
A tiny teaspoon of the material from neutron stars weighs four billion tonnes because they are so massive.
Astronomers can effectively open one up to see what's inside thanks to the telescope.
telescope which located on a mountain peak so that it may have a clear view of the sky, is home to a dozen devices of various sizes and forms, each of which is used to research a different phenomenon.
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