Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #GW170817

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130 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed Earth and the first flowering plants were beginning to bloom, two neutron stars spiraled into each other. #OTD in 2017 the gravitational waves arrived and made a mirror here on Earth move about 1/1000 of a proton radius.
Image: LIGO
About the same time one of @LIGO’s detectors was ringing, the @NASAFermi space telescope detected a burst of gamma rays. @LIGO and @ego_virgo’s automated systems determined that the signals were probably related.
The same subatomic shiver was confirmed in the second LIGO detector, and an alert went out that turned telescopes around the world towards the patch of sky that issued the chirp and burst.
Read 6 tweets
One cool bit of science you can learn from the #GravitationalWaves from neutron stars is about the "equation of state" of nuclear matter 1/?
this is something that simply can't be measured directly in labs or colliders on Earth. Astronomy is the only direct way to measure it. 2/?
How fast the inspiral happens encodes how "squishy" are the neutron stars. This is called the tidal deformability. 3/?
Read 5 tweets

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