How astronomers found traces of the biggest black hole merger in the history of the universe in space-time
The discovery may reveal new secrets about the origin and development of black holes in the universe.
Astronomers have made an astonishing discovery: they have detected faint fluctuations in space-time, which indicate that two huge black holes merged billions of years ago. This discovery may reveal new secrets about the origin and development of black holes in the universe.
A team of astronomers have detected the faint hum of gravitational waves echoing throughout our universe by combining dead stars to create a giant gravitational wave detector.
This constant hum in space could be caused by the merger of pairs of supermassive black holes, according to members of the NANOgrav research team, who published their conclusions in The Astrophysical Physical Journal Letters last week.
The fluctuations, which are called gravitational waves, were recorded by the two observatories LIGO and Virgo in May 2019. However, they were so quiet that astronomers had to use sophisticated data processing techniques to separate them from the background noise. The analysis showed that the gravitational waves were caused by the merger of two black holes, which had a mass of about 66 and 85 times that of the Sun. This means that they were much larger than ordinary black holes, which are formed as a result of the collapse of stars.
Such large black holes are a mystery to astronomers. They may be relics of the early universe, when stars were more massive and luminous than they are today. They may also be the result of previous black hole mergers that have taken place in dense clusters of stars or galaxies. Astronomers hope that further observations of gravitational waves will help establish the origin of these giant black holes and their influence on the evolution of the universe.