Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kilonova: A New Type of Stellar Explosion

Pretty much everyone (myself included) loves supernovae. After all, they are some of the most beautiful and destructive cosmological events that we know of. Moreover, they are partly responsible for our existence (as most heavy elements are created and distributed throughout the cosmos during this process). In addition to creating the elements necessary for our survival, these events give life to several bizarre objects (like neutron stars, pulsars, and stellar-mass black holes). However, many people are unaware of the fact that supernovae are just one particular type of nova.

In fact, supernovae can be created through different methods. Recently, astronomers discovered tangible evidence of a previously unseen-brand-spanking new type, which was tentatively dubbed the "kilonova." Novae of this type are likely created when two ultra compact objects collide. Consequently, these collisions give us insight into a celestial mystery called "short-term gamma-ray bursts".

Learn all about these amazing events at:


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