- In 2017, scientists detected X-rays following the collision of two neutron stars
- It was the first time that X-rays were observed following a gamma ray burst
- The X-rays were stil observable even 2 1/2 years after the collision
- Scientists offer possible explanations for the X-ray emission’s strange behavior
A team of researchers can still detect lingering X-rays from a neutron star collision that happened 1,000 days prior. The prolonged X-ray emission continues to puzzle scientists.
It was on Aug. 17, 2017, when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo first detected gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars. Dubbed GW 170817, the event was observed by various telescopes from all over the world within hours of the first detection.
The initial burst was followed by a short-duration gamma ray-burst (GRB) and a slower kilonova. Nine days later, scientists detected an afterglow that was visible