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Current Affairs

LIGO and Black Hole Physics

Date: 22 August 2019 Tags: Space

Issue

 

The LIGO collaboration announced a ‘super-event’ alert on its GraceDB (Gravitational Wave Candidate Event Database). The event, dubbed S190814bv, after the date of its discovery, has sent waves of excitement through the astrophysics community because it is different from previous events observed so far.

 

Background

 

Black holes are a critical part of the formation and evolution of galaxies and new radio telescopes will be needed for us to learn how black holes interact with stars and galaxies. Results are important for astronomy because they potentially impact how we understand galaxy evolution. 

 

Details

  • Analysis suggests that super event originated from the collision of a black hole or something else. The ‘something else’ here could be a neutron star or a black hole of low mass.
  •  The extreme gravity of the black hole would shred the neutron star, releasing light in the form of gamma rays, X-rays, Ultraviolet rays in addition to gravitational waves.
  • If it is a merger of two black holes, then the second black hole would have to have a mass smaller than allowed by current theories.
  • If confirmed, this will significantly advance our understanding of black hole population in the universe.

LIGO telescope

 

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool.

 

Black Hole

 

A black hole is a region of space-time exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light can escape from it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform space time to form a black hole.