Scientists Have Spotted Something That Appeared To Be Moving At 7 Times The Speed Of Light

According to Hubble Space Telescope data, a jet of radiation from two merging neutron stars travels at seven times the speed of light. Although this is an optical illusion because nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, it provides essential insights into the unexplained gamma-ray bursts that are still poorly understood.

Astronomers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory discovered GW170817, a wave created by the collision of two neutron stars, in 2017. The energy unleashed was “similar to that of a supernova,” according to NASA.

But, a timespan of 5 years has been taken by scientists to unpack the data that was gathered owing to the complexity of the same. Among other fascinating things brought to sight was stuff appearing to travel faster than light — which, of course, is impossible.

GW170817 is a binary neutron star merger. Some of the densest things in the cosmos are neutron stars, which are the collapsed cores of once-massive stars.

According to NASA, these neutron stars were drawn together by the incredible gravity from their astounding density, resulting in an explosive collision that released gravitational waves and gamma radiation into space for the first time ever. This was the result of two neutron stars merging.

The Hubble Space Telescope observed the merger of two neutron stars into a black hole. At that instant, the rotating disc that ringed the black hole released high-speed jets of matter into space.

Hubble observations initially suggested that the jets travelled seven times faster than the speed of light. But, theoretically, that is not conceivable. Scientists, therefore, link this occurrence to a phenomenon known as superliminal motion.

NASA claims that the jet approaches the Earth at the speed of light. Therefore, each time it discharges light, the distance it must travel is reduced, reinforcing the idea that the jet is moving faster than light.

Future observations of neutron star mergers may be able to more precisely gauge the rate of the universe’s growth thanks to the researchers’ discoveries.

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