Black hole families

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Site Writing Technological Innovation – 11/2/2020

Black hole families

The international team responsible for gravity wave detection laboratories LIGO (USA) and Virgo (Italy) released a catalog that adds no less than 39 detections of events that resulted in the formation of black holes.

This represents three times more gravitational wave events than those detected in the first two rounds, bringing the total number of detections to 50.

With this variety, the team was able to isolate several types of collisions of celestial bodies that give rise to black holes, including the smallest and largest black holes detected to date, ranging from 150 times the size of our Sun to three times the size.

The sensors also detected the first binary black hole formed from highly asymmetric black holes, as well as several binary black holes with unique rotation properties.

“We are seeing much more complex events, in which nature is really showing us its fascinating side,” said Jacob Lange, of the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA). “We will be able to learn physics and astrophysics much more interesting with these detections.”

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Some black holes were detected “out of the curve”: either very large, or very small.
[Imagem: LIGO-Virgo/Frank Elavsky/Aaron Geller/Northwestern]

Black buracos catalog

The large number of detections has made it possible to classify the events and celestial bodies involved in what astronomers are calling “black hole families”, which describe what typical black holes are, how many of them exist, how the population of black holes has changed with the evolution of the Universe and other important properties.

“The more we add to this catalog of events, the more we can start making statements about their population in general,” said Lange.

“This catalog represents a significant increase in the size of the sample in relation to our previous release. As a census that provides data for people to see if their physical models are consistent with what happens in the Universe. This has implications for general relativity, for the physics of stars and the behavior of matter in energies that are not possible in a terrestrial laboratory. In the future, this may really help us to change our understanding of things on Earth, “added Daniel Wysock of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


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