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Recipe of the day: short GRBs and kilonovae from binary neutron star mergers
Riccardo Ciolfi (INAF/Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova)
Thursday 25/06/2020 @ 11:30, Google Hangouts Meet
The first gravitational wave detection of a binary neutron star (BNS) merger in August 2017 was coincident with the observation of a short gamma-ray burst (SGRB) and a radioactively powered kilonova. This extraordinary combination of signals provided the long-awaited smoking gun evidence that BNS mergers can power SGRBs and, at the same time, confirmed that they represent ideal sites for the r-process nucleosynthesis of very heavy elements. However, a number of open questions remain: Which mechanism launched the SGRB jet? What is the nature of the remnant object acting as the central engine, is it a massive neutron star or an accreting black hole? What is the physical origin of the ejected material that ultimately powered the kilonova emission? In this talk, I will discuss recent results from general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics simulations of BNS mergers addressing the above questions.