A Stellar Collision, Ripples In Space-Time, And The Origins Of Gold

About 130 million years ago, two neutron stars collided, unleashing an explosion that rippled space-time and splattered the cosmos with a cocktail of heavy metals. Astronomers announced that they spotted the signals from that “kilonova” explosion, both in gravitational waves like the ones LIGO previously detected from merging black holes, and in signals across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Astrophysicists Vicky Kalogera and Daniel Holz, members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, joined Ira Flatow on Science Friday to talk about the observation, and what it can teach scientists about the way the universe works.

Credit: Science Friday