Source- Gizmodo

Astronomers at observatory witness birth of a neutron star binary system for the first time while on the lookout for a supernova event.

The supernova events cause a large bang and go out with a huge explosion.

A supernova occurs when the nuclear fuel of a massive star, whose mass can be approximated to at least 8 times the mass, is exhausted. This collapses the core and makes it rebound outward in a powerful explosion. After the dispersion of the outer layer, only a dense neutron star remains. The star is approximately the size of a city with a mass more than that of the sun.

However, iPTF 14gqr, the event observed by CalTech astronomers ejected matter only one-fifth of the sun’s mass. The huge star exploded into a surprisingly faint supernova on the outskirts of a spiral galaxy located 920 million light years away from us. This ultra-stripped envelope supernova had been predicted by the astronomers but has been observed for the first time ever.


Theoretical modeling allowed the observers to find out the presence of high-density material around the explosion.

‘By combining observations and theory together, we can learn so much more about these amazing events’,

said Anthony Piro from the Carnegie Institute for Science.

Researchers believe that the mass must have been stolen by a compact companion star, such as a white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole. According to astronomers, the neutron star that was left behind from the supernova must have then been born into orbit with this compact companion, thus being called a neutron star binary system. These observations of binary neutron stars by gravitational and electromagnetic waves, in addition,with the detections of ultra-stripped supernovae will play an important role in understanding the birthplace of elements.

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This observation follows a neutron star discovery in July that will be remembered as one of the most studied astrophysical events in history.

Scientists observed a powerful beam of light which confirms the neutron star merger. This is believed to happen 130 million years after it started its journey. The binary neutron star merger GW170817 happened in the galaxy which is named NGC 4993. The event supported the long-held belief of ejection of radioactive material following the merge of two dense neutron stars.
Source- Science Alert