On October 16, 2017, scientists announced the first-ever observation of a binary neutron star inspiral and merger—this astronomical event will provide a powerful new way to understand the lives of stars and how they die and join the galactic graveyard.
Vicky Kalogera, CIERA Director and Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, served as lead astrophysicist on the panel at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) press conference announcing the discovery.
Anticipated by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) for more than 20 years, this merger represents the first joint detection of an astronomical event using two astronomical observing techniques: gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation. Together these approaches are known as “multi-messenger astronomy”. Gravitational waves were the subject of 2017’s Nobel Prize in Physics, and multi-messenger astronomy was named one of the NSF’s 10 Big Ideas for future scientific investment. Northwestern is currently one of the few universities in the world with expertise on both sides of this cutting-edge field.
Watch the full press conference, featuring Vicky Kalogera.
Go “Behind the Scenes“ as Vicky Kalogera prepares to share this groundbreaking news at the NSF Press Conference.
Read the Northwestern News story for more details on this exciting discovery, and watch Vicky Kalogera’s NN TV interview.
View the Northwestern Special Feature, for videos, podcast, and featuring CIERA astronomers involved in the discovery!
Listen to Vicky Kalogera discuss the merger on Science Friday:
ROUNDUP OF MEDIA MENTIONS OF CIERA/NORTHWESTERN
These collected news stories contain quotes and interviews from various CIERA/Northwestern researchers involved in the multi-messenger detection.
October 16, 2017
- “LIGO Detects Fierce Collision of Neutron Stars for the First Time” by Dennis Overbye in the New York Times.
- “First-seen neutron star collision creates light, gravitational waves and gold” by Ashley Strickland for CNN. (Republished by NewsOK)
- “Astronomers just proved the incredible origin of nearly all gold, platinum, and silver in the universe” by Dave Mosher for Business Insider.
- “Observatories Across the World Announce Groundbreaking New Gravitational Wave Discovery” by Ryan F. Mandelbaum for Gizmodo and Gizmodo India.
- “For the first time, astronomers detect gravitational waves from two neutron stars colliding” by Loren Grush for The Verge. (Republished by Jewish Business News)
- “Astronomers Detect Colliding Neutron Stars in Historic Observation” by Alex Ruppenthal for Chicago Tonight.
- “Scientists witnessed a neutron star ‘mashup’ for the first time – and it transformed our understanding of the universe” by Amanda Froelich for Inhabitat.
- “Astronomers See Light Show Associated With Gravitational Waves” by Megan Watzke for Smithsonian Insider.
- “Scientists Spot the Spark From Ancient Collision of Neutron Stars ” by Ben Panko for Smithsonian.com.
- “2 Neutron Stars Collided, So Are They a Black Hole Now?” by Harrison Tasoff for Space.com. (Republished on Yahoo and Seeker)
- “Multi-Messenger Astronomy Gets Real ” by Stewart Wills for Optics & Photonics.
- “Gravitational waves have let us see huge neutron stars colliding ” by Leah Crane for New Scientist.
- “New era in astronomy: First ever detection of gravitational waves from merger of 2 neutron stars ” by Poulami Nag for International Business Times.
- “Astronomers Catch Gravitational Waves from Colliding Neutron Stars ” by Govert Schilling for Sky & Telescope.
- “Star Crash: When these neutron stars collided, the celestial explosion was a gold mine for astronomers ” by Ivan Semeniuk for The Globe and Mail (Canada).
- “Two huge neutron stars crash sparking universe wobble & flinging out huge amounts of gold ” by Sean Martin for Express (UK).
- “Gravitational Waves Point to First Light from Merging Neutron Stars ” by Michelle Hampson for AAAS.
- “Neutron star collision heralds arrival of a new era of astronomy ” by Eva Botkin-Kowaki forThe Christian Science Monitor.
- “LIGO Detects a Neutron Star Merger ” by Robert Naeye for Astronomy Magazine.
- “Gravitational waves just showed us something even cooler than black holes ” by Sophie Bushwick for Popular Science. (Republished by AOL)
- “Neutron stars collide, solve major astronomical mysteries ” by John Timmer for Ars Technica.
- “Worldwide team of scientists catch a star collision that pushes forward astrophysics ” by Miriam Kramer for Mashable.
- “Gravitational waves just led us to the incredible origin of gold in the universe ” by Brian Resnick for Vox.
- “Timing Was Everything for Discovery of Gold-Producing Neutron Star Collision 130 Million Light-Years Away ” by Meghan Bartels for Newsweek.
- “What Are Gravitational Waves, and Why Do They Matter? ” by Nadia Drake and Michael Greshko for National Geographic.
- “Merging neutron stars generate gravitational waves and a celestial light show ” by Adrian Cho for Science Magazine.
- “In A Historic Discovery, A Neutron Star Merger Has Been Observed For The Very First Time ” by IFLScience!.
- “Neutron star collision offers new source of gravitational waves ” by Rashmi Shivni for PBS.
- “Astronomers Confirm Origin of Universe’s Heaviest Elements in Neutron Star Mergers ” by Science News.
- “Neutron star collision showers the universe with a wealth of discoveries ” by Emily Conover for Science News.
- “After watching a 130-million-year-old cosmic collision, scientists find the origin of gold ” by Seth Borenstein for azFamily.com.
- “Neutron Stars Collide, Telescopes Capture Fireball for 1st Time ” by Jen Krausz for NewsMax.
- “Latest Gravitational-Wave Detection Opens New Era for Astronomy ” by McGill University on SpaceRef.
- “First glimpse of a kilonova, and Harvard was there ” by Megan Watzke for Harvard Gazette.
- “CIFAR fellows part of first gravitational wave detection of colliding neutron stars ” by CIFAR.
October 17, 2017
- “Thousands of scientists observe neutron star ‘death dance’ ” by Stanford for Futurity.
- “Scientists witness a cosmic collision, and the origins of gold ” by Seth Borenstein for The Journal.
- “Greek Scientist in New Gravitational Wave Discovery (video)” by Tasos Kokkinidis for Greek Reporter.
- “RCSA Community Participates in LIGO Discovery” by The Research Corporation for Science Advancement.
October 18, 2017
- “Astronomers Detect Collision Of Neutron Stars, Universe’s ‘Greatest Fireworks Show’” by Denise Bradley for Newburgh Gazette.
October 20, 2017
- “When stars collide: How 4,000 scientists converged for an epic kilonova cram session ” by Brent Bambury for CBC Radio.
October 22, 2017
- “Scientists Strike Gold With Cosmic Crash” by Anne Ball for Voice of America.
October 26, 2017
- “A Nearby Neutron Star Collision Could Cause Calamity on Earth” by John Wenz for Scientific American.
November 1, 2017
- “Neutron Stars Make Waves with Heavy Metal Light Show” by Meg Evans Smith for Evanston Roundtable.
November 8, 2017
- “In a 130 million-year-old star collision, scientists find a cosmic goldmine” by Julia Franz for USA Today.
December 13, 2017
- “This year’s neutron star collision unlocks cosmic mysteries” by Emily Conover for Science News.
December 21, 2017
- “2017 Breakthrough of the Year: Cosmic Convergence” by Adrian Cho for Science Magazine.
December 28, 2017
- “Colliding stars, black holes and gravitational waves: how astronomers could change physics in 2018” by Meghan Bartels for Newsweek.