Astronomers have found an unknown object between black holes and neutron stars. It was discovered after re-studying the gravitational burst GW190814, which the LIGO and VIRGO gravitational-wave detectors detected in August 2019. The results are published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Astronomers re-studied the gravitational burst GW190814 and then found that its source was an unusually light black hole and an object of unknown origin. The mass of the latter is between black holes and neutron stars.
According to one of the authors of the work, the event is unique for two reasons: the first – the mass of the objects participating in the burst is very different: a black hole is 23 times heavier than the Sun and a star 2.6 times, the second – the first indicator is record low, and the second goes far beyond the maximum mass of neutron stars.
Recall that the gravitational burst of GW190814 was detected in August 2019 at the border of the constellations of China and Sculptor, 770 million light-years from Earth. After discovery, scientists found that the source of GW190814 was also an unknown object. It should be much heavier than neutron stars, but be lighter than typical black holes. It is not yet known what kind of objects this is.
Where it originated and how it paired with an unusually small black hole, astronomers do not yet know. But now they can already say that the behavior of these objects corresponds exactly to the calculations of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
In total, after studying data from LIGO and ViRGO, another 56 bursts of gravitational waves of unknown nature were discovered. Scientists hope that their analysis will help to understand what is between black holes and neutron stars.