June 14, 2024

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Dying stars build giant “cocoons” that shake the fabric of space-time

Dying stars build giant “cocoons” that shake the fabric of space-time

Since the first direct detection of space-time ripples known as gravitational waves was announced in 2016, astronomers have regularly heard black holes ring across the universe. Projects such as the Gravitational-Wave Laser Interferometer Observatory (known as LIGO) they discovered nearly 100 Collision of black holes (and sometimes neutron stars), which shake the fabric of the universe and send invisible waves rippling through space.

But new research shows that LIGO may soon hear another kind of vibration in space: cocoons of volatile gas emitted from dying stars. Northwestern University researchers used sophisticated computer simulations of massive stars to show how these cocoons might produce gravitational waves that are “impossible to ignore,” according to research presented this week at the 242nd meeting. American Astronomical Society. Studying these ripples in real life can provide insight into the violent deaths of giant stars.