Home / Science / For the first time, astrophysicists have detected a black hole swallowing a neutron star.

For the first time, astrophysicists have detected a black hole swallowing a neutron star.

once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away The black hole swallowed a neutron star, and then 10 days later another black hole devoured another star. The two separate events caused a ripple through time and space that eventually hit the Earth.

these ripples It was first detected in January 2020, giving researchers a clear view of two previously unmeasured cosmic collisions. According to research published Tuesday in the academic publication The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Chase Kimball, a Northwestern University graduate student and one of the study’s co-authors, said: “This is the first detection of merger between a black hole and a neutron star. “Basically Black holes eat neutron stars and become fatter.”


Astrophysicists have previously observed two black holes colliding with two neutron stars in separate events. But the two never matched.

“We thought for a long time that it existed. But this is the first direct confirmation that will help refine future astrophysical models of binary star systems in our universe and how they interact,” Kimball said.

The collision and the subsequent gravitational waves make it rare to see how catastrophic cosmic explosions, such as the collision of neutron stars, black holes, affect the expansion and contraction of spacetime. A never-before-seen observation in the nascent field of gravitational wave astronomy.

Neutron stars are the remains of large stars with masses 10 to 30 times the sun. And black holes are condensed regions in space where gravity is so high that even light cannot escape. When these astronomical objects converge According to Kimball they swirl around “Like dancing” until they collide until a huge explosion occurs.

The merger produces an explosion of energy, such as gravitational waves that travel through space and time. This is a disturbance as measured by detectors on Earth from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, known as LIGO.

In collaboration with a small detector in Italy called Virgo, LIGO picked up the first black hole to merge with a neutron star located about 900 million light-years from Earth on January 5, 2020. A second gravitational wave was picked up. Far from the planet January 15, 2020

This is because a black hole appears to swallow a neutron star almost instantly. Kimball said astrophysicists would need to observe more of this “rare” coupling to learn more about its nature.

“How do they spin? How massive is a neutron star? Why haven’t we ever noticed this in the Milky Way?” he said. “There’s still a lot to learn.”

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