Glowing wreckage and gravity waves as neutron stars collide

While two merging black holes are thought to produce nothing detectable beyond a crescendo of gravitational waves, events involving two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole could also leave behind a glowing wreckage for telescopes to see.

There has been speculation on Twitter, in a New Scientist article and on astronomer Peter Coles’s blog that such a link has been found, based on publicly available observation logs.

Simulations by M. Ruiz, R. N. Lang, V. Paschalidis and S. L.Shapiro at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with visualization assistance from the Illinois Relativity REU team
A simulation of the merger of a binary neutron star: magnetic field lines are in white.

“If the detection is true, it would be transformative for the field and probably one of the greatest discoveries in astronomy,” said Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who refused to discuss any specific results.

Source: What Happens When Two Neutron Stars Collide? Scientific Revolution | WIRED