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Astronomy Colloquium - "New Insights on the Dynamic and Colorful Lives of Neutron Star Mergers"

Event Type
Seminar/Symposium
Sponsor
Department of Astronomy
Virtual
Date
Oct 13, 2020   3:45 pm  
Speaker
Wen-fai Fong, Northwestern University
Contact
Rebecca Bare
E-Mail
rsbare@illinois.edu
Phone
217-265-8226
Views
31

Neutron star mergers serve as unique laboratories to study the launching of relativistic jets, the production of heavy elements, the emission of gravitational waves, and importantly, the unknown. This field has been in rapid transformation, driven by the 2017 discovery of the first neutron star merger by gravitational waves, GW170817. Short gamma-ray bursts are energetic, jetted explosions which originate from neutron star mergers at cosmological distances. They represent a large and diverse population of mergers, and provide a complementary way to probe merger formation, evolution, and outcomes. In this talk, I present recent results from our multi-wavelegnth observational campaigns of short gamma-ray bursts, which are yielding new insights into the lives of neutron star mergers. These results include key constraints on the maximum mass of neutron stars, the discovery of a luminous kilonova which may signal the birth of a magnetar, and constraints on formation channels from a growing population of distant events.

 

Topic: UIUC Astronomy Colloquium

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