Mystery of a massive neutron star merger in Milky Way explained by new astrophysics theory – Firstpost

FP TrendingMay 20, 2020 13:15:44 IST

Scientists had announced earlier this year that they had detected a second gravitational wave signal fromacollision of two neutron stars. The event, which wasdubbed GW190425,resulted inthe two massive neutron stars mergingto form a binary objectlargerthan any other binary neutron star system formed by this processobserved till date.

The combined mass was 3.4 times the mass of the sun, according to the researchers. The team of astrophysicistsargue that they might have anexplanationfor the formation of the massive binary star.

An artist's illustration of merging neutron stars. The rippling space-time grid represents gravitational waves that travel out from the collision, while the narrow beams show the bursts of gamma rays that are shot out just seconds after the gravitational waves. Image: NSf/LIGO/Sonoma State Uni/A Simonnet

The theory for its formation was put forward by researchers from Australias ARC Center of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), led by Isobel Romero-Shaw from Monash University. The researchers claim to have explained both the high mass of the binaryobject andwhysimilar systems arent observedusing traditional radio astronomy techniques.

As per Romero-Shaw, GW190425 was formed through a process called unstable case BB mass transfer. Itbeginswith a neutron star that has a stellar partner a helium (He) star with a carbon-oxygen (CO) core. If the helium part of the star expands enoughthat it engulfs the neutron star, the helium cloud of the neutron star ends uppulling its stellar partnercloser beforethe clouddissipates and a binary object is formed from the two objects merging.

"The carbon-oxygen core of the star then explodes in a supernova and collapses to a neutron star, Romero explains. Thebinary neutron stars that form in this manner can be significantly more massive than those that are observed through radio waves, he adds.

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Mystery of a massive neutron star merger in Milky Way explained by new astrophysics theory - Firstpost

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