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The birth of multi-messenger astronomy

When: Tuesday, 31 October 2017 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Where: Braamfontein Campus West
WSS3, Science Stadium
Start time:14:00

Professors Sergio Colafrancesco, Andrew Chen, Nukri Komin, and Dr Justine Tarrant will present this seminar.

In 1916, Albert Einstein predicted that, based on his general theory of relativity, the close interaction of massive compact objects would create gravitational waves which propagate at the speed of light. Since that time, astronomers have dreamed of observing gravitational waves associated to electromagnetic radiation simultaneously from the sameevent. That dream was realized on 17 August 2017, with the detection of the event GW170817, a merger of two neutron stars observed both by gravitational wave detectors LIGO and VIRGO and by gamma-ray telescopes Fermi and INTEGRAL. The afterglow of the event GW170817 was then observed by numerous telescopes over the entire frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum from 10^8 to 10^30 Hz, involving thousands of astronomers around the globe, and including astrophysicists at Wits. In this seminar, Colafrancesco, AChen, Komin, ande Tarrant will discuss the numerous groundbreaking results that emerge from this discovery, including the role of Wits researchers, and will define the birth of multi-messenger astronomy worldwide and at Wits, both historically and in the future.

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