Astronomy Colloquium for 2018-02-21

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 21-Feb-2018
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: ATL 2400
Speaker: Dr. Nora Troja (UMD/GSFC)
Title: Neutron Star Mergers in the New Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics

The second run of advanced LIGO led to the breakthrough discovery of the first gravitational wave signal from a neutron star merger, GW170817, coincident with a short duration gamma-ray burst (GRB), at a distance of 40 Mpc. The discovery of GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterparts marked the beginning of a new era of multi-messenger astrophysics, in which photons and gravitational waves provide complementary views of the same source. We now have direct evidence that neutron star mergers are the progenitors of short duration gamma-ray bursts, and the dominant sites for the production of r-process elements. On-going observations of the GRB afterglow are completing the picture by probing the structure and geometry of the relativistic outflow launched after the merger. I will describe the discovery of this unique source, its evolution over the last six months, and present the first results of our multi-messenger analysis. Finally, I will discuss how this event changed our view of neutron star mergers, and why similar cases might have been missed in the past.

Colloquia are usually preceded by espresso and ice cream at 1:45 pm outside room PSC 1150 and are followed by an informal reception at 5:15 pm in that room. Anyone interested in talking with the speaker, or being added to the colloquium announcement email list, should contact the colloquium organizer. Lunch will normally be reserved for the speaker to talk to graduate students.

Colloquium Organizer: Prof. L. Drake Deming


Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

This page was automatically generated on: 19-Feb-2018.