Hubble measured ultrarelativist jeep caused by the collision of two neutron stars

Hubble measured ultrarelativist jeep caused by the collision of two neutron stars

By combining information with Hubble, Gaia and ground interferometers, researchers reconstructed the effects of the catastrophic collision of two neutron stars discovered in 2017, describing a relativist structure moving at a speed greater than the speed of light.

In August 2017, two neutron stars were detected crashing, and the explosion released energy comparable to the supernova explosion, and warped space-time into waves, gravitational waves discovered here on Earth.

Using Hubble, astronomers observed that after that event the high-energy ray jet was released at almost the speed of light. During its passage, interstellar material was thrown out into the environment, the motion of which was tracked by Hubble. The incredible accuracy of the space telescope was necessary to measure the trajectory of the jet that passes through the space at a speed greater than 99.97 per cent of the speed of light.

The two neutron stars that crashed into each other were not seen directly during the merger process, but the consequences of this catastrophic event were seen by 70 observers around the world and in space, in a wide band of electromagnetic spectrum, and the gravitational waves that caused the collision were discovered in 2017.

After the impact, two neutron stars collapsed into a black hole whose powerful gravity began to attract surrounding material. This material formed a rapidly spinning disc around a gravitational monster, contributing to the radiation of powerful rays. One of them, seen by Hubble two days after the explosion, was the fastest ever discovered and passed through the material of the expanding debris of the explosion.

Although the event took place in 2017, it took several years for scientists to find a way to analyse the data from Hubble and other ground telescopes in order to make such a complete picture.

The researchers combined Hubble's data with the observations of the ESA Gaia satellite and added radio data from several National Science Foundation radio telescopes that worked together using a method of radio interference with very long base lines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • Hubble's measurements showed that the jelly was moving at a visible speed seven times the speed of light, and radio observations showed that it subsequently slowed to a visible speed four times the speed of light.

In reality, nothing can exceed the speed of light.

What we know now and what we have yet to understand

The measurements of Hubble and VLBI have significantly enhanced the perceived link between neutron star mergers and observations of flashes of gamma rays, thus opening the way to more accurate studies of neutron star mergers.

For example, with a fairly large sample of data, in the next few years the observation of ultrarelativist jets can provide another line of study in measuring the rate of expansion of the universe associated with the number known as the permanent Hubble; there is now a discrepancy between the values of the permanent Hubble estimated for the early universe and the nearby universe, which is one of the biggest puzzles in astrophysics.

Thus, additional research, hypotheses and results on relativist jets can add information to researchers trying to solve complex space puzzles.

An annotation of the study published yesterday in Nature magazine is available.