Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Top Story

Astronomers find a golden glow from a distant stellar collision

On August 17, 2017, scientists made history with the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars. It was the first cosmic event detected in both gravitational waves and the entire spectrum of light, from gamma rays to radio emissions. The impact also created a kilonova -- a turbocharged explosion that instantly forged several hundred planets’ worth of gold and platinum. The observations provided the first compelling evidence that kilonovae produce large quantities of heavy metals, a finding long predicted by theory. Astronomers suspect that all of the gold and platinum on Earth formed as a result of ancient kilonovae created during neutron star collisions. Based on data from the 2017 event, first spotted by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), astronomers began to adjust their assumptions of how a kilonova should appear to Earth-bound observers. A team of scientists reexamined data from a gamma-ray burst spotted in August 2016 and found new evidence for a kilonova that went unnoticed during the initial observations.

Visit Website | Image credit: NASA/ESA/E. Troja