It is believed to have detected a collision between a neutron star and a black hole

So far, black hole crashes or neutron stars have been captured, but never a combination of these. The National University of Australia believes that it has succeeded.

Scientists at the university have identified gravitational waves of what appears to be a fusion of a black hole and a neutron star, ABC reports.

The waves were captured by the LIGO and Virgo observatories on August 14. These waves came from a point 900 million light years from Earth which they have named as S190814bv.

Scientists discover new sources of gravitational waves regularly. So far a fusion of neutron stars has been detected, which has also been studied through telescopes, and several fusions of black holes.

In addition, with the entry into operation of Virgo, in August 2017, researchers began to have much greater capacity to locate the source of gravitational waves.

What are gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves distort spacetime and travel the Universe at the speed of light. They occur when two very massive objects come together, releasing an immense amount of energy. These distortions constantly cross the Earth and are imperceptible, but the detectors can capture how the length of some tunnels traveled by laser shorten or lengthen when these distortions pass.

Visual detection of the waves by telescopes and satellites has not been possible, so the nature of the collision cannot be confirmed exactly.

To solve it, the researchers are sweeping a region of sky seven times wider than the Moon, trying to obtain visual information that allows further investigation with more material than gravitational waves.

Another option that is being considered is that researchers have detected the fusion of an intermediate black hole with a very light one, something never detected so far.

Why can’t they identify the objects that have collided?

The estimated mass of one of the objects, less than three solar masses, is above what is usually considered to be the maximum limit of neutron stars, 2.2 soles.

The other object, the supposed black hole, has been easier to identify, since it reaches the five solar masses, something common in a black hole.

Neutron stars are objects as dense as an atomic nucleus that spin at enormous speeds, emitting powerful magnetic fields and warping space-time.

Black holes, on the other hand, are points where gravity is so intense that it tears space-time and prevents anything from escaping from within.

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