March 5, 2024

National Radio Astronomy Observatory Congratulates Winners of Breakthrough Prize Awards

Alessandra Corsi. Credit: Texas Tech University

Mansi Manoj Kasliwal. Credit: Caltech

Raffaella Margutti. Credit: UC Berkeley

“Events such as this neutron star merger are at the frontier of physics, where we can gain important insights available in no other way. We are happy that the VLA and VLBA add to this research, and eagerly anticipate providing the significantly enhanced capabilities of the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) to work that is so important to our understanding of deep space,” Beasley included.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a center of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc

The reward winners utilized the National Science Foundations Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) to study the consequences of the merger for months later, yielding essential info about the nature and effects of the crash.

Artists conception of the explosion arising from the accident of two neutron stars. Credit: D. Berry, O. Gottlieb, K. Mooley, G. Hallinan, NRAO/AUI/NSF
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) congratulates the four astronomers honored by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation which granted them the 2022 New Horizons in Physics Prize. Alessandra Corsi of Texas Tech University; Gregg Hallinan and Mansi Manoj Kasliwal, both of Caltech; and Raffaella Margutti of the University of California, Berkeley, were acknowledged for “management in laying foundations for electro-magnetic observations of sources of gravitational waves, and leadership in extracting abundant information from the first observed crash of 2 neutron stars.”
The scientists made landmark observations of the merger of 2 neutron stars in August of 2017 and the prolonged after-effects of that merger. The occasion created gravitational waves that were straight identified by the LIGO and VIRGO gravitational-wave observatories. When the occasion later was seen emitting gamma rays, X-rays, visible light, and radio waves, it ended up being the first astronomical event ever seen with both electro-magnetic waves and gravitational waves.

” This was a watershed in astrophysics, and NRAOs radio telescopes were crucial tools for unraveling the functions of this exciting occasion. We are very happy to see our scientific coworkers who made expert usage of the VLA and the VLBA in that effort gain this well-deserved recognition,” said NRAO Director Tony Beasley.

Gregg Hallinan. Credit: Caltech