CAMBRIDGE, MA (WHDH) — Starstruck scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology watched two neutron stars go into a death spiral and collide in real time.

They said these stars have masses bigger than the sun. When the stars crash, they emit electromagnetic waves and space-time ripples, scattering heavy elements like gold and platinum across the universe.

“For the first time we’re able to put it all together and get a much more complete picture of what nature is doing,” said Professor Nergis Mavalvala.

Most of the time, it is too dark in space to see these collisions and there is no way of knowing when these will happen.

One professor described the experience like winning the lottery.

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