Discovering a black hole with an intermediate-mass has been exceedingly rare. The black holes found so far fall into two categories, the stellar black holes, also known as collapsars, and supermassive black holes.
The collapsars are formed after the implosion of dying stars and have a mass of 5 to several tens of their stellar mass. As for the supermassive black holes, they have a mass range of millions to billions of Sun. Things, however, are about to change.
Astronomers working with the LSC (the Laser Interferometry Gravitational Wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration) and the Virgo Collaboration spotted for the first time the gravitational waves of an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH). Here is what you need to know.
The First Intermediate-mass Black Hole is Now Examined
Astronomers succeeded in finding the first intermediate-mass black hole, one with 142 times the mass of our local star. They utilized the two LIGO sensors in America and the third in Italy to realize such an observation. The gravitational wave is dubbed GW190521.
The astronomers’ work and results are astonishing. According to Dr. Karan Jani, an Vanderbilt University research assistant professor, the signal was shallow – only four lines lasting a tenth of a second. Dr. Jani explained: “We were able to confirm that this came from a collision of two black holes.”
When the two black holes smashed six billion years ago in a region of space 5 gigaparsec away, they discharged “eight solar masses of energy” as a gravitational wave. They formed an even more massive IMBH that the astronomers spotted. According to Dr. Jani, the IMBH is now in a “black hole desert.”
Previously, astronomers have discovered 305 potential candidates based on the survey of more than a million photos captured during the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. However, they were noticed based on the emissions of ULXs (ultraluminous X-ray sources) and the motion of globular clusters, never direct investigations.
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