Kilonovae: the cosmic foundries of heavy elements.
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III - Astrofisica
Aula 32B-3 - Martedì 18 h 09:00 - 13:00
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The long-sought optical/infrared counterpart of a binary neutron star merger has been first detected in August 2017 following the gravitational event of 17 August 2017, that triggered the LIGO-Virgo interferometers. This radioactive source bears the signature of atoms heavier than iron, thus proving that neutron star mergers are privileged sites of r-process nucleosynthesis and contribute critically to the history of chemical evolution of the Universe. All relevant facts and conclusions about this discovery will be reviewed and the prospects for future multi-wavelength follow-up of GW sources will be outlined.