What happens when neutron stars collide with a black hole?
A particularly “remarkable” event, reports the BBC this Thursday in an article relayed by GEO.
In December 2021, NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a very large space explosion.
Since then, a team of scientists from Northwestern University (USA) has been trying to understand what happened.
Remarkable space blast identified as black hole collision https://t.co/94gii6VTV0
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 8, 2022
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A "gamma-burst" much longer than usual
The phenomenon occurred in a galaxy close to ours, "only" a billion light-years away.
The explosion caused a “gamma-burst” of rare intensity, since it lasted almost a full minute against not “more than about two seconds”, explains Benjamin Gompertz, professor at the University of Birmingham interviewed by the BBC.
The amount of infrared light perceived by astronomers was also much greater than during other space events of this type observed.
This collision probably caused the formation of a second black hole or a magnetar (a gigantic rapidly rotating neutron star).
Another fascinating detail reported by the BBC: this explosion, named GRB 211211A, produced about 1,000 times the mass of the Earth in heavy elements.
Among these, platinum… and gold.
Benjamin Gompertz thus explains that the kilonovas “are the main gold factories of the universe”.
A supermassive black hole devoured a star 8.5 billion light-years from Earth
Black hole in the center of our galaxy: after the image, here is the sound...