Scientists discovered a phenomenon created by a black hole merger. They believe the merger took place when two black holes collided as they passed by each other, creating something we’ve never seen before. The researchers published a paper on the discovery in the journal Nature Astronomy, and astronomers plan to continue studying the object in the future.
What’s more intriguing about this discovery is that the researchers believe that the black hole merger was instantaneous. They believe this because the shape and brevity of the signal associated with the event make it appear as if there was no spiraling phase – where the black holes were drawn to each other before their collision.
The phenomenon is known as GW190521. To help learn more about it, the researchers created various simulations to try to determine how the black hole merger occurred. These simulations, again, led the researchers to believe that the black holes had passed by each other and merged, almost instantly, into the gravitational event that we’re now witnessing.
Further, the researchers say that it is possible that the event is located in a densely populated region of space, like a star cluster, where gravitational interactions like this are far more likely. The researchers believe that the black holes in the merger sit at around 52 and 81 solar masses. These estimates are slightly lower than previously believed, and it’s likely the models could need more tweaking.
Black holes themselves are intriguing. Recently, scientists simulated a black hole on Earth, which could help unlock some more data about them. We’ve also seen the sonification of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and it’s quite terrifying, to say the least. Learning more about this black hole merger is at the top of the researcher’s priority.
As they observe it more, the researchers may be able to tell more about what caused the merger, as well as why it has created such an amazing phenomenon.