A neutron star merges with a black hole

For the first time in the history of astrophysics, researchers can prove the merger of a neutron star and a black hole.

The basics in brief

  • In January 2020, a black hole swallowed a neutron star.
  • Gravitational waves were recorded from it by detectors on Earth.
  • These measurements provide the first clues to the cause of this cosmic merger.

An international team of researchers has managed to record the gravitational waves of a merger between a neutron star and a black hole. This is their hack In astrophysics succeeded. Through their records, this merger can be proven for the first time, Tagesspiegel reports.

The neutron star “swallowed” whole

In January 2020 a Black hole A neutron star is completely “swallowed”, creating gravitational waves. These signals were from Detectors LIGO and Virgo were received and analyzed by scientists at the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI).

These gravitational waves are plotted from a distance of more than 900 million light-years Land Owns. For the first time, the measurements allow analyzing the origin of this process and the number of times it has been incorporated.

The largest gravitational wave was picked up by all the detectors and named “GW200115”. According to physicists, it arises from the merger of a black hole with six solar masses and a neutron star 1.5 times the mass of the Sun. Because the Earth’s detectors are far apart, the direction to the origin of the waves can be limited to one part: an area of ​​the sky corresponding to about 2,900 full moons.

AEI researchers estimate that this merger occurs every month at a distance of one billion light-years. However, current detectors cannot record all of these events. Successful about five years ago The first guide Like gravitational waves. So far, about 50 such events have been observed.

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