The hunt for gravitational waves is back on with the announcement overnight of the detection of signals from what’s thought to be the merger of two neutron stars, the incredibly dense remains of a collapsed star.
Stellar collisions are an amazingly rare thing. According to our best estimates, such events only occur in our galaxy (within globular clusters) once every 10,000 years. It’s only been recently, thanks to ongoing improvements in instrumentation and technology, that astronomers have been able to observe such mergers taking place. As of yet, no one has ever witnessed this phenomena in action – but that may be about to change!