Scientists detect New Source of Gravitational waves

Scientists have detected gravitational waves produced by collision of neutron star and black hole for the first time.

Highlights

  • Gravitational waves ripples were detected in fabric of space-time.
  • This finding shows that there are neutron star-black hole systems. This system will help in answering several questions regarding cosmos ranging from star formation to expansion rate of universe.

How Gravitational waves are produced?

Gravitational waves are produced when celestial objects collide. After collision, ensuing energy creates ripples in fabric of space-time which carry to detectors on Earth.

How waves were detected?

Waves from two celestial objects were picked up with the help of global network of gravitational wave detectors called LIGO. Advanced LIGO detector in US and Advanced Virgo detector in Italy picked up final throes of death spiral between a neutron star and a black hole on January 5, 2021 when they circled closer and merged together. Following it, the second signal was picked up on these detectors from final orbits and smashing together of another neutron star and black hole pair.

Significance of the study

Detection of gravitational waves confirm that there are populations of binary systems comprising of a neutron star and a black hole. Such astrophysical systems will help in answering many big questions regarding universe. One can reveal facts regarding star formation and stellar evolution and expansion fate of Universe. Observations will also help scientists to find more facts about what neutron stars are made of.

Background

First ever direct gravitational waves were detected in 2015. Since then, astronomers have predicted the system of black hole & neutron star merger could exist. However, observational evidences were detected in 2021.

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