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The Cosmic Mystery Tour$
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Nicholas Mee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831860

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831860.001.0001

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Cosmic Spacequakes

Cosmic Spacequakes

Chapter:
(p.138) Cosmic Spacequakes
Source:
The Cosmic Mystery Tour
Author(s):

Nicholas Mee

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198831860.003.0018

The fourth gravitational wave signal detected by LIGO GW170817 coincided with a short gamma ray burst and these signals have been interpreted as the result of a binary neutron star merger. It is thought that gold and other heavy elements are produced in binary neutron star collisions and the GW170817 event has provided support for this idea. Further evidence that heavy elements are produced in extremely rare events such as binary neutron star mergers has been deduced from the scarcity of these elements in dwarf galaxies. The Reticulum II dwarf galaxy is an exceptional case that does contain heavy elements that might have been created in a single such event.

Keywords:   binary neutron star, gamma ray burst, gold, gravitational wave, Reticulum II, LIGO, GW170817

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