Artist’s impression of merging neutron stars

This artist’s impression shows two tiny but very dense neutron stars at the point at which they merge and explode as a kilonova. Such a very rare event is expected to produce both gravitational waves and a short gamma-ray burst, both of which were observed on 17 August 2017 by LIGO–Virgo and Fermi/INTEGRAL respectively. Subsequent detailed observations with many ESO telescopes confirmed that this object, seen in the galaxy NGC 4993 about 130 million light-years from the Earth, is indeed a kilonova. Such objects are the main source of very heavy chemical elements, such as gold and platinum, in the Universe.

Credit:

ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser

About the Image

Id:
ann17040a
Type:
Artwork
Release date:
17 October 2017, 17:00
Related announcements:
ann17040
Size:
5000 x 3293 px

About the Object

Type:
Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Neutron Star
Category:
Illustrations


Image Formats

Fullsize Original
119.2 MB
Large JPEG
2.4 MB
Screensize JPEG
148.1 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
176.0 KB
1280x1024
274.8 KB
1600x1200
386.9 KB
1920x1200
457.6 KB
2048x1536
593.5 KB

Also see our