When Neutron Stars Collide: Cataclysms in Space

Public talk

  • Date: Apr 27, 2023
  • Time: 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM (Eastern Time (US & Canada) UTC-4:00)
  • Speaker: Stephanie Brown
  • Location: Michigan State University, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams
  • Room: Auditorium
When Neutron Stars Collide: Cataclysms in Space

Neutron stars are some of the most extreme objects in the universe. Though they are approximately one-and-a half times the mass of our sun, they are less than 30km across. With magnetic fields that are often more than 100 million times that of the earth's as well as surface gravitational fields 200 billion times stronger than the earth's, they are fascinating objects on their own. Now imagine that two of them collide! The resulting cataclysm is not only bright enough to be seen millions of light-years away, but the blast sends ripples through the very fabric of spacetime itself that we can detect here on earth. This talk will explain what neutron stars are, where they come from, and exactly what happens when they collide.

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