Astronomers learned to study neutron stars using gravitational waves

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the University of Birmingham have developed a new model based on the use of gravitational waves. The model allows you to learn a lot about the structure and composition of neutron stars. A new study was published in Nature Communications.

The model shows that the oscillations inside the stars can be measured directly from a single signal of a gravitational wave. This is due to the fact that neutron stars are deformed under the influence of tidal forces, causing them to oscillate with characteristic frequencies.

Thus, they encode unique information about the star in the gravitational wave signal.

Such a discovery allows us to designate asteroseismology (the study of stellar oscillations) as a new promising tool for studying the elusive nature of extremely dense nuclear matter.

Neutron stars are superdense remnants of coiled massive stars. The electromagnetic spectrum has revealed thousands of such objects. However, despite this, their nature is still poorly understood.

Unique information about these objects can be obtained by measuring gravitational waves emitted at the moment when two neutron stars meet and form a binary system. First predicted by Albert Einstein, these oscillations in space-time were first discovered by the Advanced Laser Interferometer of the Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015.

Using the gravitational wave signal to measure the vibrations of neutron stars, researchers will be able to discover a new understanding of the inside of these stars.

The model developed by a group of scientists allows for the first time to determine the frequency of these oscillations by directly measuring gravitational waves. The researchers used their model on the first observed signal of a gravitational wave from the fusion of a binary neutron star – GW170817.

Scientists are confident that the next-generation gravitational-wave observatories, the creation of which is planned for the 2030s, will be able to detect much more binary neutron stars and observe them in much more detail than is possible at present.


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