Binary neutron stars: inspiral and merger

Inspiral and merger of equal-mass relativistic neutron stars (high-mass, ideal-fluid equation of state)

The images show the evolution of a binary system of neutron stars (NSs) as these inspiral and merger. The product of the merger is a NS that is too massive to resist gravity and soon collapses to produce a black hole (BH). During this process a bit of the matter composing the NS is "left out" and forms a disc which more slowly accretes onto the BH. The torus is very hot (~ 1011 - 1012 K) and can produce lectron-positron pairs. This is what is expected as the origin of gamma-ray burts (GRBs), the most powerful sources of energy in the universe.

L. Baiotti, B. Giacomazzo (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics), L. Rezzolla (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics & Institute for Theoretical Physics, Frankfurt), R. Kähler (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics & Zuse Institute Berlin)

Note: Publication of these images requires proper credits and written permission. Please contact in advance of publication.

Go to Editor View