Astronomers have spotted a gravitational wave from a black hole so large that, as far as we know, it should not exist.
The black hole formed by the collision sent by the gravitational wave into space is 142 times its mass Sun., which makes it the most massive ever observed by gravitational waves, while the energy released through the universe is equivalent to about eight solar masses.
«The system that we have discovered is so strange that it disproves a number of previous hypotheses about how black holes form, "He said Karan Jani, a researcher at Vanderbilt University who participated in the research. «It took us over a year to confirm that there is this alien black hole and we are excited to share this discovery with him. people.»
One scenario is that it formed when two smaller black holes collided to make a larger one, which then found a third black hole, resulting in an even larger collision. The chances of this happening are less than throwing a golf ball out of it China and another from Argentina and watch them collide in the air.
«This discovery raises more questions than it provides answers. " said Alan Weinstein, a member of LIGO and its physics teacher Caltech. ""In terms of discovery and physics, it's very exciting."
Since 2015, scientists have observed a black hole created in the collision of two others using gravitational waves, as strong energy from their fusion propagates into the universe, oscillates in space and can be collected on Earth.
But the recently discovered brand is very special. It was named GW190521 and was detected in May last year by LIGO and VIRGO, gravitational wave detectors in USA and Italy. The signal consisted of four small oscillations that lasted less than a tenth of a second.
Whatever the conditions that created the black hole, it has already broken many records. It is the most distant and oldest ever detected, with gravitational waves that take seven billion years to reach Earth, and it is also the most massive black hole ever seen through gravitational waves.
Medium-mass black holes - observed only indirectly - could provide clues to one of the biggest issues in astrophysics and cosmology, allowing scientists to understand where these oversized black holes come from. Researchers have reported that they could continue to merge until they evolve into a kind of "cosmic monster" in the middle of galaxies, including ours.
It is not just this black hole that was extremely large. The two that collided to form it had masses about 65 and 85 times that of the Sun.
Theories also want it to be the so-called "primitive" black hole formed during the Big Bang.
The discovery refers to two current publications, in Physical Review Letters, which describes in detail the discovery of the gravitational wave signal itself, and in Astrophysical Journal Letters, which investigates the physical properties and effects of this signal.