kilonova: When Neutron Stars Collide
A kilonova is an astronomical event that occurs when two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole merge. During this collision, a tremendous amount of energy is released in the form of gravitational waves, gamma-ray bursts, and an intense burst of light across various wavelengths, including optical and infrared.
The term “kilonova” reflects the fact that the event is typically thousands of times brighter than a nova, a similar but less energetic phenomenon. Kilonovae play a crucial role in understanding the behavior of extreme cosmic events and the production of heavy elements in the universe.
Kilonovas get their names from the fact that they are 1000 times brighter than a nova. This does mean that they are about 1 tenth to 1 hundredth the brightness of a supernova, and because of how they form they are incredibly interesting indeed.
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