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LIGO observes merger of neutron stars

The UO LIGO team played a major role in today’s announcement of the observation of a binary neutron star merger — see Around-the-O. In addition to the gravitational waves, the event GW170817 was accompanied by gamma-ray burst GRB 170817A and a large range of other observations from the electromagnetic spectrum, including the signatures of heavy element synthesis. Several journal articles on the gravitational wave observations were published today in conjunction with the press conference in Washington DC. At least 38 separate papers were also set to appear today from astronomical observers.