Final Flight of Neutron Star Pair

This movie shows a possible trajectory of the neutron stars that merged in an event called GW170817. The pair of stars—a neutron star and a normal star—orbit quietly (green),until the normal star goes supernova, spawning a second neutron star and “kicking” the system into an elliptical orbit (purple). The two neutron stars merge and generate gravitational waves, a gamma-ray burst, and a "kilonova" explosion.Other potential lives of the star pair are shown in the thinner lines and circles.

Credit: LIGO-Virgo/Aaron Geller/Northwestern University