A team of astronomers and physicists have enthusiastically reported the first time they managed to simultaneously detect both light and gravitational waves from the same source, namely when two neutron stars collided. And now there seems to be evidence of this historic event being intrinsically linked to yet another, no less remarkable one.
The object, commonly referred to as GRB150101B, was reported as a gamma-ray burst, first spotted by NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory three years ago. The observations that followed, at the hands of NASA’s Chanda X-ray, Hubble Telescope etc., suggest that the said object bears certain similarities with a neutron star merger, dubbed GW170817, which multiple light-gathering telescopes caught a glimpse of on 17 August 2017.
This illustration shows the hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from two neutron stars just before they collided. Within this neutron-rich debris, large quantities of some of the universe’s heaviest elements were forged, including hundreds of Earth masses of gold and platinum.