LIGO detects first merger of two unequal-mass black holes

The scientists of Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Laboratory (LIGO) have recently recorded the first merger of black holes that were of unequal masses.

On April 12, 2020, the LIGO-Virgo collaboration detected collision between two black holes that were 2.4 billion light years away. The scientists have now concluded from their researches and analysis that these black holes were of unequal masses.

Highlights

The black holes were 20 and 40 times the mass of the sun. One of the black holes was 29.7 solar masses and the other was 8.4 solar masses. Though they are heavier and uneven, they are the lowest-mass black holes recorded so far.

The Findings

Black holes revolve around each other. When the black holes are of equal masses, they return to the same position after they complete their revolution in each of their respective orbits. Therefore, in these cases, the black holes generate gravitational wave frequency that is twice their orbital frequency. On the other hand, the black holes of uneven masses produce additional (second) weaker gravitational wave frequency.

Solar Mass

Solar Mass is the standard of mass in astronomy that is used to indicate masses of other masses. One solar mass is equal to 2×1030 Kg.

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