Marymount Invites Public to NASA Scientist’s Lecture on Collision of Neutron Stars

Marymount University invites the public to its annual Myhill Memorial Lecture, which will be given by Dr. Eleanora Troja of the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The research scientist will speak on “The Last Dance of Two Neutron Stars” at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 in Reinsch Auditorium on the school’s main campus, 2807 North Glebe Road.

The free event is held in memory of Dr. Liz Myhill, a beloved physics professor at Marymount from 1993-2010. A dessert reception will follow in the Lee Reception Room.
Troja will describe the discovery of the first gravitational wave signal from the collision of two neutron stars in a galaxy 130 million light years away. The detection was made on Aug. 17, 2017.
“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 heavy metals such as gold, platinum, and uranium,” Troja has written.
More than 2,000 astronomers around the globe organized one of the largest observing campaigns ever in order to study this new phenomenon, she added. The work heralds a new era of “multi-messenger” astrophysics, in which light and gravitational waves provide complementary views of the same source. She’ll describe how it has evolved over the past six months.

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Dr. Eleanora Troja