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UC astronomers first to observe merging neutron stars

A small team of UC Santa Cruz astronomers led by UCSC Asst. Prof. Ryan Foley observed the first visible event ever linked to gravitational waves on August 17th, 2017. Foley’s team captured the first images of the event, located in a galaxy 130 million light-years away called NGC 4993, with the 1-meter Swope Telescope at the Carnegie Institution’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Foley’s team also utilizes the Anna L. Nickel telescope on Mount Hamilton.