The two black holes broke, completely changing what we know about the universe.

Photo credit: CHRIS HENZE/NASA/SPL - Getty Images
Photo courtesy: CHRIS HENZE / NASA / SPL-Getty Images

From popular mechanics

  • Researchers uncovered the strongest black hole merger ever recorded and unearthed evidence of a previously controversial black hole class. Medium mass black hole.

  • Astronomers LIGO and Virgo Observatory Analyze gravitational waves.

  • Chaotic collisions can be the result of the collision’s chain reaction, researchers say.

About 7 billion years ago, two monstrous black holes struck a very violent celestial event, firing the pulses of gravitational waves throughout the universe. Surprisingly, those gravitational waves reached Earth only a year ago, and now astronomers Most powerful black hole collision: An event named GW190521.

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Researchers at the Laser Interferometric Gravity Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the United States and the Virgo Observatory in Italy detected waves (waves of space-time structures) for the first time in May 2019. Astronomers are 66 and 85 times heavier than our Sun in two papers published last week. Physical review letter and Journal of Astrophysics. When collided they formed a black hole that was about 142 times larger than our Sun.

This is not only the most powerful explosion ever recorded, but also attests to the existence of a rare type of black hole, a medium mass black hole. “Now we can solve the case and say that medium-mass black holes exist,” said Christopher Barry, a LIGO astrophysicist at Northwestern University. Geographic country.

In theory, there should not be a black hole that is 85 times the mass of the Sun. It doesn’t fit well with the theories that researchers have about how stars die. Stars, ranging from several to 60 times the mass of the Sun, usually burn all their fuel and eventually decay on their own, forming “conventional” black holes.

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Stars that are about 60 to 130 times heavier than our sun go out with a bang but don’t usually become black holes. Instead, they form what is called a pair-labile supernova. The heat generated while the star is being compressed so Strong, and all released materials are destroyed. According to current theory, it cannot be a black hole. (Supermassive black holes, such as those photographed from the M87 center, form from millions to billions of stars of our solar mass.)

“A discovery like this is both discouraging and exciting,” said Daniel Holz, a member of the LIGO team, a theorist at the University of Chicago. New York Times. “On the one hand, one of the beliefs we cherish turned out to be wrong. On the other hand, here’s something new and unexpected. Now we’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”

So how did this massive crash unfold? Some researchers suggest that black holes hitting each other are primitive. In other words, they have been around right after the Big Bang and follow their own universe guidelines. Another theory suggests a mysterious medium-mass black hole, probably formed by a previously occurring black hole merger.

Location matters for this scenario to work. When a black hole collides, the gravitational waves produced often cause recoil and push them out of the galaxy. However, for these two massive black holes to meet, the galaxy in which the previous collision occurred was incredibly crowded and had to have enough gravity to keep the black hole relatively close.

Astronomers are not sure where the massive collision took place. But there is a clue. In June, researchers at the Zwicky Transient Observatory in California found flares of quasars in about the same part of the sky. This bright flash may be the result of a shock wave generated by a recoil black hole formed during the GW190521 event. However, more work is needed to connect the two phenomena.

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After all, this is a watershed moment in astrophysics. The discoveries made at the Virgo Observatory and LIGO, twin observatories located in Washington and Louisiana, respectively, changed our understanding of the universe and won Nobel Prizes to researchers there. The work carried out at this observatory allowed astronomers to slowly uncover the most secretive secrets of our universe. It is not over yet.

Space exploration with this telescope

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