Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Multi-messenger observations of cosmic collisions, relativistic blasts, and their remnants

Presented by Alessandra Corsi (Texas Tech University)

The deaths of massive stars seed our universe with black holes and neutron stars - the most exotic objects in the stellar graveyard. The births of these stellar remnants, as well as their mergers when paired in binaries, power explosions that can launch the most relativistic jets we know of in the universe (gamma-ray bursts) and shake the very fabric of space-time via gravitational waves. GW170817, the merger of two neutron stars witnessed through both its gravitational wave siren and its glow at all wavelengths of light, marked the beginning of a golden age in multi-messenger astronomy. Starting from the example of GW170817, I will discuss how radio observations can probe relativistic outflows from compact binary mergers and, together with gravitational wave observations, help unveil the nature of the merger remnants. I will conclude by highlighting opportunities and challenges ahead, as new observational facilities will transform a trickle of multi-messenger discoveries into a flood.

3:30 pm, Friday, April 22, 2022


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