1+1 Black holes merger creates massive gravitational wave; Missing link found?

The collision between two black holes, in this case, also left behind a final black hole, which is 18 times the mass of the Sun.

Yet another gravitational wave has been detected by the scientists, which has been produced by the merger of two light black holes about a billion light-years away from the Earth.

The gravitational wave, which was detected by Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory's (LIGO) second observation run, was produced by the merger of two black holes seven and 12 times the mass of the Sun. It also left behind a final black hole, which is 18 times the mass of the Sun. This means that an enormous amount of energy, equal to about one solar mass, was emitted as gravitational waves during this collision.

This event was originally detected by LIGO on June 8 this year. However, the announcement of it was delayed because scientists needed more time to comprehend two other discoveries - a three-detector observation of gravitational waves from another binary black hole merger before this one on August 14 and the first-ever detection of a binary neutron star merger in light and gravitational waves on August 17.

Dubbed GW170608, this discovery is the lightest black hole binary that has been spotted by LIGO and Virgo detectors. Also, this has been one of the first cases where black holes detected through gravitational waves have had masses similar to black holes detected indirectly via electromagnetic radiation, such as X-rays.

As per the experts, this discovery is significant because it will now enable astronomers to compare the properties of black holes collected from gravitational wave observations with those of similar-mass black holes previously only detected with X-ray studies. It is expected that the new findings will end up forming a missing link between the two classes of black hole observations.

Also Read: 10 years from now, we may witness gravitational waves generated from merger of supermassive black holes: Scientists

Currently, both the detectors, LIGO and Virgo, are offline, as they are getting further upgrades in order to improve sensitivity. Scientists are hoping to launch a new observing run next year.

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