A strange object produced gravitational waves.  A mysterious clue has emerged

Gravitational waves are a type of distortion in space-time They move at the speed of light – essentially oscillations propagated in a gravitational field. Their existence was confirmed in 2015. Two years later, the discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for their decisive contribution to the creation of the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”

Sources of gravitational waves may be binary systems of massive objects, which move around each other at enormous speeds, and this may include, among other things, a system of two black holes. Moreover, waves of this type can be generated when objects with very large masses collide.

As mentioned earlier, in their new research, scientists have identified the source of creation Gravitational wave from 2023 – It was an interaction between two cosmic bodies. One was a neutron star, while determining the nature of the second object caused many complications.

In terms of its mass, this body was what is called Reduced group gap – This is the absence of objects with a mass ranging from about 2.3 to 5 solar masses, that is, between the most massive neutron stars and the less massive black holes.

Neutron stars They are what remains after the death of the star. At the end of their lives, stars with an initial mass of 8 to 30 solar masses eject their outer matter into space, and the remaining core collapses to form an ultra-dense object only 20 kilometers in diameter. Neutron stars have a mass of up to 2.3 solar masses.

while black holes They arise from the collapse of stars with a much greater initial mass. This creates a region in spacetime with very strong gravity and mass. Black hole masses range from 5 to a dozen solar masses or so, although there are objects with masses exceeding millions of solar masses. Surprisingly, there are no objects with a mass between 2.3 and 5 solar masses.

Researchers from the LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA teams report this For the first time they observed a gravitational wave generated by the interaction of a neutron star and a mass gap object. This event has been named GW230529.

“Although previous evidence for mass-gap objects has been reported in both gravitational and electromagnetic waves, this system is particularly exciting because it is the first gravitational wave detection of a mass-gap object associated with a star,” says astrophysicist Silvia Pescoviano of Northwestern University. Neutron”. University in the United States of America.

She also added: – Observing this system has important implications for both of them The theory of dual evolutionas well as the electromagnetic equivalents for connecting compact objects.

The mass of the discovered neutron star is 1.2 to 2 solar masses. On the other side The mysterious object has a mass of 2.5 to 4.5 solar masses. Researchers suggest this may be so Small black holeAlthough, they say, there's currently no way to know.

– Before we start observing being Using gravitational waves, the properties of compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars can be inferred indirectly from observations of electromagnetic systems in our Milky Way Galaxy, says astrophysicist Michael Zivin of the Adler Planetarium in the US.

He also mentions: – The idea of ​​the gap between the masses of the neutron star and the black hole, which is a concept that has been around for a quarter of a century, was born on the basis of electromagnetic observations. GW230529 is an exciting discoveryBecause it indicates that the “mass gap” is less empty than astronomers previously thought. This has consequences for supernova explosions that produce compact objects, as well as for the potential light that appears when a black hole tears apart a neutron star.

The results of the research were published on the website Link design.

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