ESO / N.R. TANVIR, A.J. LEVAN AND THE VIN-ROUGE COLLABORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ESO / N.R. TANVIR, A.J. LEVAN AND THE VIN-ROUGE COLLABORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Composite image of a gamma ray burst from two colliding neutron stars in galaxy NGC 4993 (centre of each tile). The gamma ray burst is zoomed in on in the image at right. This is the first time that the aftermath of such a collision, known as a kilonova, has been witnessed. Kilonova are thought to be the origin for all elements heavier than iron in the universe. This merger also produced gravitational waves and gamma rays, both of which were detected by LIGO-Virgo and Fermi/INTEGRAL detectors respectively on the 17th August 2017. Galaxy NGC 4993 is about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra.
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