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EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: GRAVITATIONAL WAVES AND THE NEW ASTRONOMY
21 March @ 5:45 pm - 7:00 pmFree
Presented by Associate Professor Tara Murphy
ARC Future Fellow | Sydney Institute for Astronomy | School of Physics
About 130 million years ago, two neutron stars, each roughly 1.5 times the mass of the sun, collided in a colossal stellar collision – a neutron star merger.
The collision created waves in spacetime itself, as well as emitted electromagnetic radiation, with gamma-rays, x-rays, visible light and radio waves all being observed by scientists. The effects are still being monitored to this day.
The event has huge implications for physics and astronomy as the findings tie in to Einstein’s theory of Relativity and demonstrate how gold and other heavy metals are made.
Tara Murphy and her team from the University of Sydney were amongst the first in the world to observe the radio waves produced as a result of the star merger. Their data, combined with the data collected from astronomical institutes from all over the world, will open a whole new universe of possibilities into studying black holes.
This astronomical phenomenon might just prove to be the most sensational star merger since David Bowie and Queen’s 1982 number one hit, “Under Pressure”.
Join Associate Professor Tara Murphy as she recounts the events leading up to her team’s incredible observation and the applications for the future of astronomy.