Astronomers have found an “ultra-stripped supernova” that created a second neutron star in a tight binary system, matching theoretical predictions for how such binaries are formed in otherwise disruptive blasts.
The merger of two neutron stars, observed in August, created two powerful jets streaming away into space at nearly the speed of light, in agreement with theoretical predictions and shedding new light on gamma ray bursts.
Colliding neutron stars generated headlines last year after the detection of gravitational waves sweeping through the solar system. Follow-on X-ray observations indicate the cataclysmic merger formed a record low-mass black hole.
The afterglow from the distant neutron star merger detected last August has continued to brighten — much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light-years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the Universe.