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The fusion of neutron stars that produces gravitational waves is getting brighter, but why?



After the fusion of two neutron stars, the burst of gamma rays that occurs becomes brighter for a short period of time, and then fades, according to other observations of short bursts of gamma rays. But that was not what happened in the case of GW170817, the first fusion of neutron stars observed by scientists in August of last year, an event that also sent gravitational waves through the universe.

In any case, the X-ray emission of the merged object has continued to grow in intensity, as well as its radio emissions. Fusion radio wave data was tracked since the event occurred, but X-ray observations had to be suspended just two weeks after it occurred because the location of the object in the sky was too close to the sun.

In a document published Thursday, researchers led by a team at McGill University in Canada considered the various theoretical models that would allow the glow of fusion to become brighter (it has become four times brighter since the merger ). They used the data collected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

"When the source emerged from that blind spot in the sky in early December, our Chandra team took the opportunity to see what was happening, and the subsequent brightness turned out to be brighter at the X-ray wavelengths , just as it was on the radio, "John Ruan, a postdoctoral researcher at the McGill Space Institute and lead author of the new document, said in a statement Thursday. .