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The phenomenon of a different nature: the scientists were able to look into the center of a neutron star

Astrophysicists around the world rejoice. They first presented the revolutionary results of observations, never before recorded astronomical phenomenon – the collision of two neutron stars, which happened more than a hundred million years ago in the constellation Hydra. On Monday in Germany this event is officially announced to the user ESO (European southern Observatory), and dozens of other observatories and institutions. In a unique experiment on the detection of the explosion from the collision of neutron stars was attended by Russian scientists included in the draft LIGO/Virgо, space Observatory “Integral” and “Fermi”, as well as the draft of the state astronomical Institute. Sternberg “Master”.


photo: a frame from the video

Discussed event occurred in the galaxy NGC 4993 located from us at a distance of about 130 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. There was a clash of two neutron stars with diameters of up to 10 kilometers (but can accommodate up to 2.5 solar masses each).

That neutron stars are colliding, scientists thought 40 years ago. This was judged according to the corresponding gamma radiation, and later developed optical observation . However, neither confirm not deny these hypotheses, no one dared. Helped them in this gravitational-wave astrophysics, which begins in 2015, when the US was first registered gravitational waves. This is another channel that now brings us information about the most powerful, the most high-energy processes in the Universe along with space electromagnetic radiation of different ranges.

So it was through this new channel on 17 August two American gravitational wave detector LIGO and similar detector Virgo, located in Italy, registered a signal, called GW170817. Almost simultaneously with the signal of a burst of gamma rays from the galaxy NGC 4993 were obtained observatories “Fermi” and “Integral”, and observatories working in the x-ray, ultraviolet and optical ranges. In sum, according to the press service of the Moscow state University, the phenomenon was observed about 70 ground-based and space-based observatories worldwide, including the University network of robotic telescopes “Master”. This mass detection of a new natural phenomenon happened for the first time by the gravitational detectors. They first recorded the wave from the merging stars, to determine its source, and thus indicated all the other observatories, the potential site of its discovery.

About how new data will be able in the future to expand our knowledge and possibilities, we spoke to the head of the astronomical Department of the physical faculty of MSU, RAS academician Anatoly Cherepashchuk.

In order to understand the mechanisms work, for example, nuclear power plants, it is necessary to deeply know the physics of dense nuclear matter. The merger of two neutron stars just happen and the processes that reveal these properties. We know experimentally about the events occurring to a density slightly below nuclear. Here before us are opportunities to look into the center of the neutron star where the density is higher (!) nuclear. We don’t even know the laws of physics that govern matter at this density. There may be particles of a different nature we’re looking for at the Large hadron Collider, quark-gluon plasma, which exists permanently, not fractions of a second in the Tank.

– Speaking at a press conference, scientists reported the formation of heavy elements in the result of collision of two neutron stars…

– There are super-heavy elements, which open in Dubna, there are puzzles with the origin of the isotopes of individual elements of the earth. The content of some of them on the Ground increased. This is attributed to the explosion millions of years ago a supernova. The explosion irradiated the hard radiation of the elements that gave rise to then the excess number of isotopes. The collision of neutron stars, in theory, also can be sources of a birth of heavy elements.

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