Anomalies in spacetime have uncovered a distant contact between a black hole and an unknown object, which is supposedly too massive for a neutron star and not massive enough to be a black hole.
About The Event
The event was observed by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors nearly one year ago, and at first, it was believed that it was the collision between a neutron star and a black hole.
Further analysis of the gravitational waves resulted from the merger doesn’t agree with that statement, though.
The study of the phenomenon revealed a black hole nearly twenty-three times more massive than our sun crashed into a “compact object” approximated at 2.6 solar masses, according to a report published on June 23 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The unknown object is a tad heavier than the supposed 2.5-solar-mass cap on neutron star size.
However, the object is smaller than most lightweight black holes ever recorded, starting from about five solar masses.
Cole Miller, an astrophysicist at the University of Maryland in College Park, not involved in the study, said:
“We have [here] either the heaviest known neutron star … or we have the lightest known black hole.”
A Total Mystery?
Unfortunately for us, the eerie merger didn’t leave behind plenty of clues for astronomers to determine what the 2.6-solar-mass object is.
After LIGO (Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and Advanced Virgo recorded the merger, various ground-based and space telescopes searched for radiation in the form of light, but there was no trace of it.
However, that led to a new set of speculations – The lack of clues might prove that the unknown object is a black hole because black holes colliding are known not to give off a lot of light.