From the wreckage of star collisions to today's advanced technologies
Gravitational waves, invisible ripples in space, were created by the collision of two black holes over a billion years ago but were detected only fairly recently. A few years later, scientists measured a tremendous gravitational event resulting from the merger of two dense neutron stars. This time, it was accompanied by a brightly glowing "kilonova" produced by the radioactive decay of matter ejected during the merger. The spectroscopic emission of this event confirmed scientists' predictions, addressing an open question about the origin of heavy elements like gold and uranium. As one data point is not enough, the EU-funded GW project is laying the groundwork for amassing a large sample from future kilonova detections.