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Gravitational Waves Help Detect Merger Between Black Hole and Mystery Object 780 Million Light-Years Away

Representative image.

Representative image.

The mysterious object is said to be 2.6 times the mass of our sun, while the black hole was that was 23 times the mass of our sun.

Buzz Staff
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 24, 2020, 2:19 PM IST
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Some 780 million light-years away, an astronomical object merged with a black hole and this has created gravitational waves which could be detected on Earth. The scientists have said the object exists inside a "mass gap"which is the range between the heaviest known neutron star and the lightest known black hole.

The ripples in space and time were first detected by scientists in US and Italy in August 2019 using gravitational wave detectors, the CNN reported.

The mysterious object is said to be 2.6 times the mass of our sun, while the black hole was that was 23 times the mass of our sun. The difference between the sizes of the two makes it the most extreme mass ratio for a gravitational wave event known to date, the report said. A black hole, about 25 times the mass of the sun, was created after the merger.

Currently, the heaviest known neutron star is 2.5 times the mass of our sun and the lightest black hole is five times the mass of our sun. In between is the "mass gap" into which this object fits.

The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters on Tuesday by an international team of astronomers.

The scientists said that they had been waiting for years to solve the mystery.

"Mergers of a mixed nature — black holes and neutron stars — have been predicted for decades, but this compact object in the mass gap is a complete surprise. We are really pushing our knowledge of low-mass compact objects," Vicky Kalogera, study coauthor was quoted as saying.

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