Physics and Astronomy

Studying a bright gamma-ray burst from neutron star merger, astronomers discover heavy elements.

Illustration courtesy of Luciano Rezzolla, University of Frankfurt, Germany

Dieter Hartmann and an international team of astronomers “obtained observational evidence for the creation of rare heavy elements in the aftermath of a cataclysmic explosion triggered by the merger of two neutron stars.” They were studying a massive gamma-ray burst named GRB230307A, which was first detected on March 7, 2023. Scientists discovered that this burst resulted from two neutron stars merging in a distant galaxy. 

“The breakthrough discovery puts astronomers one step closer to solving the mystery of the origin of elements that are heavier than iron.”

Adapted from:
Astronomers discover heavy elements after bright gamma-ray burst from neutron star merger | Clemson News

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