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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:

  1. Details
  2. About Kilonova
  3. 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

December 2023