LIGO-Virgo finds mystery astronomical object in ‘mass gap’
June 23, 2020
In August of 2019, the LIGO-Virgo gravitational-wave network witnessed the merger of a black hole with 23 times the mass of the sun and a mystery object 2.6 solar masses, which generated a splash of gravitational waves detected back on Earth by LIGO and Virgo. Scientists do not know if the mystery object was a neutron star or black hole, but either way it set a record as being either the heaviest known neutron star or the lightest known black hole. A paper about its detection was published today (June 23, 2020) by The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Physics & Astronomy Professor and CIERA Director Vicky Kalogera led the paper team, who all contributed directly to the scientific results: Postdoctoral Fellow Mario Spera, Graduate students Michael Zevin and Chase Kimball, and Research Assistant Professor Christopher Berry. More information about this important research can be found here.
- New York Times, A Black Hole’s Lunch Provides a Treat for Astronomers.