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Author Topic: Why are astronomers getting so excited about Gravitational Waves?  (Read 549 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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Two neutron stars spiralling into each other before colliding 125 light years away from where we are sitting right now.

Last week, astronomers worldwide were going potty about the collision of two neutron stars 125 million years ago. Iíve read a couple of reports in various publications (such as Harvard Ed and Nat Geographic) of last week's cataclysmic news of the collision between two superdense stellar corpses known as neutron stars Ė and I even understand about neutron stars being dying stars that (while theyíre not black holes) about as close to being black holes as you can get.

What I absolutely canít figure out is this...Why should I be excited by two colliding neutron stars?

Whatís in it for me? Or for anyone else on the Clapham omnibus?

And why should I be excited by the Gravitational Waves given of by the collision of two neutron stars? Whatís in it for me for us ordinary oiks down here on Earth? How will it change my life? What have neutron stars ever done for us, eh?

If anyone has a clue, and can explain it to me one teaspoon at a time, Iíd be very grateful.
"I live in hope"