The scientist first detected the gravitational waves in 2017 that developed when two neutron stars spiraled toward each other and fused together. This is also called as Kilonova. It is said that the Kilonova had also occurred about 130 million years ago. The findings and study on gravitational waves have sent ripples in the field of physics. As per Albert Einstein’s general relativity theory, space behaves like a substance and can be squeezed and stressed further. Hence, the discovery of gravitational waves helped to reveal a new era of astronomy.
On August 17, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Advanced Virgo observatories on Earth detected the strong gravitational ripples in space that were released by Kilonova. This enabled the astronomers across the world to aim a long list of telescopes at the former pair of neutron stars, obtaining data from radio waves, visible light, and gamma rays.
NASA’s Fermi space telescope had detected a gamma-ray explosion from a source. Later, the study on this showed that the merging of neutron stars produces strong gamma rays and the gravitational waves produced from this neutron merging process travel at the speed of light.
Talking on this, Edo Berger of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) said, “We’ve shown that the heaviest elements in the periodic table, whose origin was shrouded in mystery until today, are made in the mergers of neutron stars.”
These findings have not only given detailed information on the cosmic phenomenon, but have also helped a lot in the field of astronomy. Richard O’Shaughnessy, LIGO scientist said, “This is a transformation in the way that we’re going to do astronomy.”
Before these findings, the only facts that the scientists were able to study were the events through the light of wavelengths. But, the scientists can now hear their affects. The scientists can now convert the signals of gravitational waves into audio with the use of latest equipment. This process is known as distinctive chirps. As per the study, the signal of the Kilonova lasted around 100 seconds. It is around 1,000 times more than the distinctive chirps detected from the heavier black holes.
With the help of two messengers, light, in the form of photons and gravitational waves, the scientists can now learn about distant events. Since the invention of the telescope, the researchers get greater resolution when observing the space. And now, the scientists are building a telescope to view the wavelengths which may help cosmologists to understand how the universe expanded in the past, and what affects its current accelerating rate.