Scientists May Have Detected ‘Violent’ Black Hole-Neutron Star Collision

first_img Scientists may have detected a “violent” collision between a neutron star and a black hole, however, they are not sure what sparked this mysterious space occurrence.On April 25, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the European-based Virgo detector identified the presence of gravitational waves from what is believed to be a crash between two neutron stars, also known as the dense remains of giant stars that previously exploded, said a LIGO press release. However, on April 26, the LIGO-Virgo network observed another source with a bizarre twist: it may have resulted from the collision between a neutron star and a black hole, which LIGO says has never been witnessed before.Here’s the @LIGO & @ego_virgo skymap for #S190425z showing our best guess for where the #GravitationalWaves candidate (most likely colliding #NeutronStars) originated from. @LIGOWA was offline so the map isn’t too precise, covering about 18% of the sky https://t.co/HG56maUQHh pic.twitter.com/igJSg3maXr— LIGO (@LIGO) May 2, 2019“The universe is keeping us on our toes. We’re especially curious about the April 26 candidate. Unfortunately, the signal is rather weak,” Patrick Brady, spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, said in the press release. “It will take some time to reach a conclusion about this candidate.”The April 25 neutron star crash, dubbed S190425z, might have occurred roughly 500 million light-years away from our planet. Only one of the twin LIGO facilities reportedly picked up the signal of this collision, along with Virgo. Since only two of the three detectors reportedly registered the signal, an estimate of the sky location from which it originated were not precise, so astronomers had to survey almost a quarter of the sky to find the source.Meanwhile, the potential April 26 neutron star-black hole collision (S190426c) is estimated to have occurred approximately 1.2 billion light-years away from Earth. The collision was reportedly spotted by all three LIGO-Virgo facilities, which helped astronomers narrow its location to regions that cover about 1,100 square degrees (roughly 3 percent) of the total sky.And for our 5000th @LIGO tweet, here’s the skymap for #S190426c which might be our first #NeutronStar #BlackHole collision! With 3 detectors online this time the area was only 3% of the sky: way better for finding afterglows in light. https://t.co/9NIjMJOeg9 #O3ishere pic.twitter.com/bovdnZ5aYu— LIGO (@LIGO) May 2, 2019In addition to the discoveries above, the LIGO-Virgo network reportedly observed three likely black hole mergers. Since the first direct detection of gravitational waves occurred in 2015, the network has detected evidence for two neutron star mergers, 13 black hole mergers, and one potential black hole-neutron star merger.The discoveries come on the heels of LIGO and Virgo resuming operations on April 1. LIGO’s twin detectors, one in Washington and one in Louisiana, and Virgo, which is based at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) in Italy, turned back on earlier this month after undergoing many upgrades to increase their sensitivities to gravitational waves (ripples in space and time). Each detector can survey larger volumes of the universe and try to spot crashes between neutron stars and black holes.Apr 1 the hunt for #gravitationalwaves resumes with even more sensitive detectors! O3, the 3rd @LIGO and @ego_virgo observing run, promises more merging #blackholes and #neutronstars – and maybe some exciting new discoveries too. Read more at https://t.co/yTB1XncSDZ #O3ishere pic.twitter.com/vnRwRWSz8p— LIGO (@LIGO) March 26, 2019“The latest LIGO-Virgo observing run is proving to be the most exciting one so far. We’re already seeing hints of the first observation of a black hole swallowing a neutron star,” David H. Reitze of Caltech, executive director of LIGO, said in the press release. “If it holds up, this would be a trifecta for LIGO and Virgo—in three years, we’ll have observed every type of black hole and neutron star collision. But we’ve learned that claims of detections require a tremendous amount of painstaking work—checking and rechecking—so we’ll have to see where the data takes us.”More on Geek.com:Scientists Simulate Sounds of Stars This Black Hole’s Jets Are Wobbling Fast Because It’s Dragging Space-TimeThe First Black Hole Photographed Now Has a Cool Name Stay on target NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendHubble Captures Saturn’s ‘Phonograph Record’ Ring System last_img

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