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Let’s Break Down What That Monumental Neutron Star Collision Actually Told Us

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Joan Zappulla
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On August 17, 2017, over 70 observatories around (and above) the world, including ones like LIGO and the Hubble Space Telescope, all spotted a flash of energy.

This light came in many different flavors, and was consistent with a pair of dense neutron stars colliding in a cataclysmic “kilonova” explosion.

You’re probably familiar with the fact that light travels as a wave of radiation, and the colour is determined by the distance between wave peaks, or wavelength.

The distance between peaks for the colour blue is around 450 nanometres, and around 700 nanometres for the colour red.

But there are much smaller and larger wavelengths, too.

But each different wavelength of light fills in a different part of our overall understanding, like another ingredient in a recipe.

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Joan Zappulla
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