A mysterious object is merging with a black hole

A mysterious object is merging with a black hole

Science

 

It all happened 800 million years ago, but it has been now, thanks to gravitational waves, that scientists detected the fusion between a black hole and a mysterious object, which could be a neutron star or another black hole. The hypotheses are open .The intense gravitational wave created by that highly energetic event was captured in August 2019 by detectors Ligo (USA) and Virgo (Italy), according to a study published on Wednesday, The Astrophysical Journal Letters . However, the scientists could not identify what type of object merged with the black hole , although they consider that it must have been a special one.

The mysterious object is approximately 2.6 times the mass of the Sun, which places it in an interval between the most massive neutron star and the lightest black hole ever seen, indicates in a statement the Institute of Physics of High Energies (Ifae ). The heaviest known neutron star is no more than 2.5 times the mass of our Sun and the lightest black hole is around 5 solar masses.For a long time, the astronomical community was puzzled by the lack of observations of compact objects with masses in the range of 2.5 to 5 solar masses, a gray area known as the “gap in mass distribution”.

That mass interval is apparently too small for a black hole and too large for a neutron star, adds the High Energy Physics Institute (Ifae).When the most massive stars die, they collapse under their own gravity and create black holes ; but when they are a little less massive they explode into a supernova and leave behind dense debris called neutron stars, explains Northwestern University (USA).The mysterious object has around 2.6 solar masses, which places it in the ” gap in the distribution of masses “, thus questioning its own existence, adds the Ifae.The merger between the mysterious object and a 23 solar mass black hole resulted in a black hole that is about 25 times the mass of the Sun and emitted an intense gravitational wave that has been identified as GW190814.

Jason Amato

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