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Oct 14, 2022

Matter Ejected From Crashing Neutron Stars Appeared to Break Light Speed

Posted by in categories: physics, space

When astronomers around the world watched the epic collision between two neutron stars in 2017, the main event was just the beginning. The after-effects, both immediate and longer-term, of such a massive, never-before-seen merger were bound to be exciting, interesting, and deeply informative.

And now scientists have revealed a doozy. As the two neutron stars slammed together, they ejected a jet of material that, to our eyes, appeared to blast into space at seven times the speed of light.

This, of course, is impossible, according to our current understanding of physics. It’s a phenomenon known as superluminal speed, which in spite of its name is actually an illusion based on our viewing angle.

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