Detection of the second ever Neutron Star Merger announced

Artist's impression of the binary neutron star merger producing GW190425. Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet. CGA BNS
7 January 2020

A new collaborative study with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration reveals a possible collision of two neutron stars earlier in 2019—only the second time this type of cosmic event had ever been detected. The gravitational-wave observatory network, that includes the National Science Foundation's LIGO and the European Virgo detectors, picked up what appeared to be gravitational ripples from a collision of two neutron stars back on 25 April 2019.

This second event in 2019, called GW190425, did not result in any light being detected; however, researchers have learned that the collision resulted in a merged object with an unusually high mass, 3.4 times heavier than the Sun. This detection was only possible by continued improvement of the sensitivity of the gravitational wave detectors including reducing the quantum noise in the detectors, in which CGA researchers played a vital role.

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