Scientists Say Witnessed Flare Caused by Collision of Two Black Holes

Black Hole Neutron Star

Black Hole Neutron Star

Later, an observatory called the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) caught a blast of light. Such a discovery is occurring for the first time in the Astrophysics and the scientists said that they are planning to carry out further research related to this finding. This might bring about more insights in to the study of blackholes.

Reference: "GW190814: Gravitational Waves from the Coalescence of a 23 Solar Mass Black Hole with a 2.6 Solar Mass Compact Object" by R. Abbott, et.al., 23 June 2020, Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The merging of the two cosmic beasts was reported after a gravitational wave dubbed S190521g was detected in May 2019 by the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) facilities in the USA and the Virgo observatory in Italy. Embedded within this disk are two smaller black holes orbiting one another.

"This supermassive black hole was burbling along for years before this more abrupt flare", Matthew Graham, a research professor of astronomy at Caltech and the project scientist for ZTF, said in a statement.

What is a black hole? This should come as no surprise since they nearly never give off any light of their own, and any light that ventures too close is ultimately swallowed up by the black hole's intense gravity. Hence, it is truly surprising that such flares of radiation was observed from them. The process of merging gave the object a kick that should cause it to enter the supermassive black hole's disk again, producing another flash of light that ZTF should be able to see. Accretion disks are ubiquitous phenomena in astrophysics where it involves gamma ray bursts. In the case of a supermassive black hole, the flowing gas flows into a kind of ballroom dance, organising the smaller black holes to remain in a synchronised dance around each other.

The co-author of the study, Barry McKernan said, "It is the reaction of gas to this speeding bullet that creates a bright flare visible with telescopes".

That detection allowed the ZTF scientists to look for light signals from the location where the gravitational wave signal originated. "We conclude that the flare is likely the result of a black hole merger, but we can not completely rule out other possibilities". Researchers say that if their hypothesis is right, the newly formed black hole would be the largest, with a mass of around 150 masses of the Sun.

When black holes merge, they begin to orbit one another, moving towards each other before merging in one of the most powerful events known to scientists. ZTF observed the flare slowly fade over the period of a month.

Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill US troops: NY Times
He added: "The White House statement that dealt with this issue today, which denied such a meeting, was correct". Trump tweeted that "Nobody's been tougher" on Russian Federation than his administration.

The Physical Review Letters paper, titled, "A Candidate Electromagnetic Counterpart to the Binary Black Hole Merger Gravitational Wave Event GW190521g", was funded by the NSF, NASA, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the GROWTH (Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen) program. The team suggests this may have been the black hole at this location merging with another.

The authors note that while they conclude the flare detected by ZTF is likely the result of a black hole merger, they can not completely rule out other possibilities.

Their observations show that the behaviour of the black hole was fairly constant over the last 15 years.

"There's a lot we can learn about these two merging black holes and the environment they were in based on this signal that they sort of inadvertently created".

Daniel Stern, coauthor of the new study and an astrophysicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which is a division of Caltech, said: "This detection is extremely exciting".

The gravitational wave group from the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation played a key role in the study, which will change how scientists look at neutron stars and black holes.

The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. To contact the author, please use the contact details within the article.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.