Nature | News & Views
Kilonovae, short gamma-ray bursts & neutron star mergers
This Collection of research and comment from Nature Research focuses on the electromagnetic counterparts to the gravitational wave event GW 170817 from the merger of two neutron stars. LIGO’s first three gravitational wave detections, and LIGO-Virgo’s first, all originated from mergers of black holes. These momentous black-hole clashes produced gravitational waves that were audible to LIGO-Virgo but there was nothing to see. But a neutron star merger is different. Following GW 170817, a short gamma ray burst and kilonova occurred, releasing photons across a wide electromagnetic spectrum: from radio waves to infrared to visible to X-rays to gamma rays. The Research papers published in Nature and Nature Astronomy cover some of these counterpart signals. Welcome to the era of gravitational wave astrophysics.