Institute of Astronomy

Mergers, magnetars and multi-messengers

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Professor Stephen Smartt4 June 2020The Kavli Lectures


Wide-field optical sky surveys are discovering a remarkable diversity in how stars merge, collapse and explode. The powering mechanism for many of these requires a source beyond radioactivity, plausibly a magnetic, rapidly spinning neutron star. In addition, the discovery of an electromagnetic counterpart to a pair of merging neutron stars showed that gravitational wave sources produce transients that emit photons from gamma rays to the radio. Other rapid transients, potentially from merging systems have also been found. I will highlight these recent discoveries and future potential of all sky surveys and LSST in the coming decade.