What is a kilonova?

Source: The post is based on the article “What is a kilonova?” published in The Hindu on 11th February 2023.

What is the News?

Researchers have confirmed the detection of a star system that will one day end in a kilonova. 

Scientists believe that only ten-star systems that exist in the Milky Way will end in kilonova. The newfound one has been labelled as CPD-29 2176 and is located about 11,400 light-years from the earth.

What is Kilonova?

A kilonova is a cosmic event that occurs when a neutron star smashes into another neutron star or a black hole.

It releases heavy metals like gold, silver, and selenium into outer space at tremendous velocities, as well as radiation.

A kilonova radiation also accompanies a gamma-ray burst, one of the most energetic cosmic events ever known.

What is a Neutron Star?

Neutron stars are formed when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses. The very central region of the star – the core – collapses, crushing together every proton and electron into a neutron. 

If the core of the collapsing star is between about 1 and 3 solar masses, these newly-created neutrons can stop the collapse, leaving behind a neutron star.

Many neutron stars are likely undetectable because they simply do not emit enough radiation.

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