A Kilonova

A fireball following a gamma-ray burst (as predicted) is captured by Hubble.  Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Tanvir (University of Leicester), A. Fruchter (STScI), and A. Levan (University of Warwick)

A fireball following a gamma-ray burst (as predicted) is captured by Hubble. Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Tanvir (University of Leicester), A. Fruchter (STScI), and A. Levan (University of Warwick)

Finally! This is very exciting: The Hubble has captured what is known as a Kilonova and in the process helps us down the road of showing a short-duration gamma-ray bursts can be set off by the collision and merger of two of the densest objects we know of: a pair of neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole.

The gamma-ray burst occured in the constellation Leo at a distance of 4-BILLION light-years.

I’ll let NASA explain (the link goes to a more detailed explanation plus more images):

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope recently provided the strongest evidence yet that short-duration gamma ray bursts are produced by the merger of two small, super-dense stellar objects.

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