Research

For the first time, gravitational waves from the confluence of a black hole and a neutron star were recorded.

In 2016 Laser InterferometricThe gravitational-wave observatory (LIGO) for the first time confirmed the existence of gravitational waves caused by the collision of two black holes. In April of this year, the same observatory allowed to make another “first” documentary evidence of another cataclysmic phenomenon. This time LIGO recorded how a black hole devours a neutron star, which also gave rise to gravitational waves.

In early April, began another longphase of research aimed at the detection and study of gravitational waves. A month later, the scientists decided to share what they managed to figure out as part of this stage of work. It is noted that at the end of April it was possible to register two gravitational signals at once.

The first one was caught by LIGO on April 25th. Its source, according to preliminary data, was the merger of two neutron stars. The masses of these objects are comparable with the mass of our Sun, but their radius is only 10–20 kilometers. The source of gravitational waves was at a distance of about 500 million light years from us.

The second event, called S190426c,scientists recorded April 26th. Astrophysicists believe that this time gravitational waves were born as a result of a collision of a neutron star and a black hole at a distance of 1.2 billion light years from Earth (that is, the event itself occurred more than a billion years ago).

What is interesting, only in April of this year alone, the gravitational catastrophes of LIGO recorded as many as five, which once again confirms how dynamic our Universe is.

Since 2016, the LIGO Observatory has undergone severalupgrades and is now able to observe gravitational waves in more detail. These updates also allowed significantly more often to fix the cataclysms that cause them, and so much so that scientists no longer want to publish separate articles about each such event.

At the same time, the absorption by the black hole neutronThe stars have caused increased interest among astrophysicists, since they have never been observed before. The researchers are confident that we are talking about the confluence of a black hole and a neutron star.

"The fact that we have not yet fixedElectromagnetic radiation, may mean that the event occurred so far that it more closely matches the neutron star-black hole system. If we were talking about the merger of two neutron stars, then their mass would not be enough to generate gravitational waves that could travel such distances, ”says LIGO team member Gabriela Gonzalez of Louisiana State University.

Unfortunately, to determine more or less accurateScientists have so far failed to locate the source of these gravitational waves, but have narrowed the search radius to three percent of the sky. According to researchers, if the catastrophe was accompanied by any visual component, then it will be detected sooner or later.

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