Interstellar travel guide: Chronicles of a violent universe

Manel Perucho, José A. Font


In contrast to observations from our local viewpoint, the universe is extremely violent. Explosions of massive stars, X-ray and gamma-ray binary stars, and active galaxies are related to the presence of compact objects such as neutron stars or black holes. Processes such as matter accretion or the formation and release of relativistic plasma jets are responsible for the generation of large amounts of high-energy radiation, caused by the acceleration of elementary particles, and have a significant impact in their surroundings. Moreover, they are related to the generation of gravitational waves: vibrations in spacetime produced by the acceleration of compact massive objects that produce strong curvatures. These systems are studied within the framework of the general and special relativity theories. In this article, we summarise several of the most well-known astrophysical scenarios, and offer a brief description of what we currently know about them.

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