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GW170817: A Spectacular Multi-Radiation Merger Event Detected

Both gravitational and electromagnetic radiations have been detected in rapid succession for an explosive merging event for the first time. Data from the outburst fit well with a spectacular binary neutron-star death-spiral. The explosive episode was seen on August 17 in nearby NGC 4993, an elliptical galaxy only 130 million light years distant. Gravitational waves were seen first by the ground based LIGO and Virgo observatories, while seconds later the Earth-orbiting Fermi observatory detected gamma-rays, and hours after that Hubble and other observatories detected light throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. Pictured is an animated illustrative movie of the event's likely progenitors. The video depicts hot neutron stars as they spiral in toward each other and emit gravitational radiation. As they merge, a powerful jet extends that drives the short-duration gamma-ray burst, followed by clouds of ejecta and, over time, an optical supernova-type episode called a kilonova. This first coincident detection confirms that LIGO events can be associated with short-duration gamma-ray bursts.

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3D Lava Falls of Mars

Get out your red/cyan glasses and gaze across lava falls of Mars. The stereo anaglyph was created by combining two images recorded by the HiRISE camera onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The multi-level falls were created as flowing lava breached sections of the northern rim of a 30-kilometer diameter martian crater, located in the western part of the Red Planet's volcanic Tharsis region. As the molten lava cascaded down the crater wall and terraces to reach the crater floor it left the distinctly rough, fan-shaped flows on the steeper slopes. North is up and the breathtaking 3D view is 5 kilometers wide.

Sources: NASA

Video Gallery


GW170817: A Spectacular Multi-Radiation Merger Event Detected

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