Recently, researchers have confirmed the detection of a star system that will one day end in a kilonova.
Facts for Prelims
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Kilonova
- About Neutron star
- The newly found star system has been labelled CPD-29 2176 and is located about 11,400 light-years from the earth.
- CPD-29 2176 is currently a neutron star and a star orbiting each other.
- Kilonova, also known as a macronova, is a cosmic explosion that results from the merger of two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole.
- The collision of these ultra-dense objects unleashes a tremendous amount of energy, causing a transient astronomical event that is detectable in different wavelengths of light.
Observation and Characteristics:
- Kilonovae are characterized by a rapid and bright peak of emission, followed by a short-lived afterglow in the form of infrared, optical, and ultraviolet radiation.
- The emission is powered by the radioactive decay of heavy elements, mainly r-process elements, that are synthesized in the merger event.
- The ejected material also produces a gravitational wave signal that can be detected by sensitive detectors, such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Significance and Applications:
- Kilonovae play a crucial role in the study of the universe, as they provide a unique opportunity to probe the physics of compact objects, the behavior of matter at extreme densities and temperatures, and the origin of heavy elements.
- They also serve as cosmic laboratories for testing fundamental theories, such as general relativity and the equation of state of matter.
- Moreover, kilonovae have practical applications in the field of cosmology, as they can be used as standard candles to measure the expansion rate of the universe.
About Neutron star
- The stars which are formed when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses are called neutron stars
- The very central region of the star – the core – collapses, crushing together every proton and electron into a neutron.
-Source: The Hindu