Black holes merge into unusual shapes

Black holes are becoming strangers – even to scientists who study planets and other objects in outer space.

Astronomers recently reported the discovery of the signal from violent Collision Of two black holes. This phenomenon, which occurred long ago, created the shape of a new black hole, which scientists had never seen before.

Physicist Alan Weinstein of the California Institute of Technology was part of the search team. He said the discovery was “the greatest Bang“Seen by humans since the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is a term that many astronomers use to explain the beginning of the universe.

Are black holes Dense Areas of Space. They are so dense that even light cannot escape. Until recently, astronomers observed them in two common sizes.

There are “small” ones called stellar black holes. These black holes are formed when a star collapses. They are about the size of a small town.

There are also supermassive black holes. These black holes are millions, perhaps billions of times larger, than our Sun.

Astronomers’ Calculation Suggest that nothing in between the two shapes made sense. This was because very large stars usually destroyed themselves before they broke, causing no black hole.

Nelson Christensen is the research director of the French National Center for Scientific Research. He says that scientists thought that the star collapses could not create black spots 70 times larger than the mass of our Sun.

Then in May 2019, two sensors received a signal that emitted energy from two stellar black holes crashing into each other. One was 66 times the mass of our sun. The other was 85 times the mass of the Sun.

Results: An intermediate black hole was discovered for the first time 142 times the mass of the Sun. The term intermediate suggests being in the middle of a process or development.

In the collision, a large amount of energy was lost. The energy was in the form of a gravitational wave, a Wave In space that travels at the speed of light.

This was the wave that physicists were using in the United States and Europe Detectors Called LIGO and Virgo, captured last year. After studying the signal and redoing their work, the scientists published the results of this week in Physical Review Letters and Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Because detectors receive gravitational signals as audio signals, scientists actually heard the collision. For all the violence, the signal was only one-tenth of a second.

“It just feels like a Drop, ”Weinstein said. “It doesn’t really sound like a speaker.”

This accident occurred about 7 billion years ago, when the universe was about half its present age. It was only now detected because the collision was so far away.

Earlier collisions of black holes have been seen. But the black holes involved were small starters. Even after the collision, they did not grow beyond the size of a normal stellar black hole.

Christiansen said that scientists do not yet know how supermassive black holes are at the center of galaxies, but this new discovery may provide a clue.

I am John Russell.

Seth Borenstein reported on this story for The Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English. George was the Grow Editor.


Words in this story

Collision – N. Collision, such as an accident in which two or more things or people collide with each other

Bang – Ann. Sudden, loud noise

Dense – adj Closely or strongly joined together

Calculation – N. An estimate or prediction

Wave – Ann. Something that passes through or spreads through something or something; A shape with small waves

Detector – N. A device that can tell if a substance or object is present; A device that measures the presence of something

Drop N. Especially when a heavy object hits something, there is a loud sound