Now that humanity took a picture to prove that black holes exist, it is not much of a puzzle anymore. But still, being aware of these massive absorbing machines' existence is a formidable thought. And now, scientists discovered two startling black holes were about to collide.
A collaboration between The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo gravitational wave detectors announced the discovery in two different papers published in the journals Physical Review Letters and Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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One of the black holes was 1,5 times larger than those ever recorded in a black hole merger. And the newly created black hole that emerged has a mass of 142 times bigger than the sun.
The shocking thing according to astrophysicists is that the larger black hole was not formed from a dead star. It is 85 times greater than the sun that it might have been the outcome of a previous merging of two black holes. The present calculations indicate that the stars with solar masses between 65 and 135 cannot turn to blackholes but destroy themselves. What a courtesy of the universe!
“The mass of the larger black hole in the pair puts it into the range where it’s unexpected from regular astrophysics processes,” said Peter Shawhan, a physics professor at the University of Maryland. “It seems too massive to have been formed from a collapsed star, which is where black holes generally come from.”
Existence of the intermediate size
The gravitational waves were caught by LIGO's two detectors in the US and Virgo in Italy back in 2019, May 21. The waves are basically ripples generated by giant objects' movement in space. What is more, they are functioning similarly to the objects they propagate from. They can stretch and squeeze anything they pass by, traveling at the speed of light.
The aforementioned size of the merged black hole refers to the existence of intermediate-mass black holes. They range from about 100 to 100,000 solar masses.
As science continues to surprise us with merging space giants, it is hard to decide which one is even more terrifying. The fact that stars with really huge masses cannot form black holes but die, or that if the intermediate-mass blackholes growing by merging reaches a point to stop? Well, let's hope that nature has an answer for that.