In 2015, LIGO for the first time managed to capture gravitational waves, confirming the reality of Einstein's theory of relativity. Waves formed from the impact of two black holes. On August 17, 2017, the instrument acquired a completely new class of gravitational-wave signal - the fusion of double neutron stars, whose afterglow was studied by various telescopes.
This led to a new scientific era. It took 2 months and the Institute of Theoretical Physics. Kavli (Santa Barbara) created a quick response program for researchers from around the world. To this end, more than 75 physicists and astronomers gathered to discuss the details of the process.
The goal of GW170817 (First fusion of a double neutron star) is to increase the level of awareness of the results obtained from large-scale cooperation. This is a large database updating information for scientists from around the world.
For example, the signal in August made it possible for the first time to measure the distance of a neighboring galaxy from the point of fusion of two neutron stars and to investigate the state of matter in supernuclear planes. Gravitational wave data led to the formation of a huge amount of new research, including the creation of heavy elements, gamma-ray bursts and other electromagnetic signals. Most disputes arose on the subject of the origin of heavy elements (heavier than iron). Theoretical models show that the ejected substance due to the merger of neutron stars can be transformed into gold or platinum as a result of neutron capture. But only the last event could confirm this in the observation.
Long before that, scientists tried to simulate the type of fusion of double neutron stars. It turned out many models were amazingly accurate. Gravitational waves hinted at the presence of neutron stars, and EM observations told about the spectrum of radioactive decay. When combining the two processes, one can understand the origin of the entire periodic table.
Among the most discussed topics was the EM-analogue of neutron star fusion. Scientists managed just 2 seconds to observe the gamma-ray burst, distant by 130 million light years. This suggests that neutron star fusion is a long-term source of gamma-ray bursts.
The next opportunity to study gravitational waves should be presented in 2019. LIGO and Virgo update their tools to increase sensitivity by 2018. There is hope that we will be able to see how a black hole and a neutron star collide.