Hubble Reveals a New Kind of Stellar Blast Called a Kilonova
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope revealed a new type of stellar explosion called a kilonova. Kilonovas are about 1,000 times brighter than a nova, but they are 1/10th to 1/100th the brightness of a typical supernova.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope recently provided the strongest evidence yet that short-duration gamma ray bursts are produced by the merger of two small, super-dense stellar objects.
The evidence is in the detection of a new kind of stellar blast called a kilonova, which results from the energy released when a pair of compact objects crash together. Hubble observed the fading fireball from a kilonova last month, following a short gamma ray burst (GRB) in a galaxy almost 4 billion light-years from Earth. A kilonova had been predicted to accompany a short-duration GRB, but had not been seen before.