Binary neutron stars: inspiral and merger
Binary neutron star merger (without magnetic fields)
This movie shows the final stages of the inspiral and merging of two neutron stars. Neutron stars are dense objects created in certain supernova explosions, and concentrate around 1.5 solar masses inside a radius less than 20 km. The merger shown in the movie is happening much faster in reality, within less than a hundredth of a second, and produces strong gravitational waves. Matter ejected from merging neutron stars is also the most likely source for the creation of heavy elements in the universe, such as gold.
In this movie, a short-lived neutron star is produced that collapses quickly to a black hole. The white solid surfaces depict the surfaces of the two neutron stars and the merged object. The black hole horizon is shown as black surface. The movie also shows that the remnant is surrounded by a debris disk of hot plasma much denser than any matter on Earth. This disk is visualized as transparent layers.
Note: Publication of these images and movie requires proper credits and written permission. Please contact the AEI press office in advance of publication or for higher-resolution versions.
This movie is based on the simulations described in T. Kawamura, B. Giacomazzo, W. Kastaun, R. Ciolfi, A. Endrizzi, L. Baiotti, and R. Perna, “Binary neutron star mergers and short gamma-ray bursts: Effects of magnetic field orientation, equation of state, and mass ratio”, Phys. Rev. D 94, 064012 (2016)
These results were obtained with the help of the following grants: PRACE grant GRSimStar (PI Giacomazzo), MIUR FIR grant No. RBFR13QJYF (PI Giacomazzo)
Visualisation: W. Kastaun (University of Trento and Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics)
Numerical relativity simulation: T. Kawamura, B. Giacomazzo, W. Kastaun, R. Ciolfi, and A. Endrizzi (University of Trento)