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Disturbed Naps and Black Hole Mass Gaps

4 Feb 2020, 14:56 UTC
Disturbed Naps and Black Hole Mass Gaps
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The excitement of real-time public alerts in multi-messenger astrophysicsTitle: Neutron Stars Versus Black Holes: Probing The Mass Gap With LIGO/VIRGOAuthors: Tyson B. Littenberg, Benjamin Farr, Scott Coughlin, Vicky Kalogera, Daniel E. HolzFirst Author’s Institution: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center: Huntsville, Al, USStatus: Published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters [open access] Rrrring Rrrring…. It’s the universe calling!The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and its European counterpart, Virgo, have started issuing joint open public alerts to those who sign up whenever they pick up a cosmic whisper of these ripples in spacetime. In the wee hours of September 24, 2019, many cosmic enthusiasts who had subscribed, including me, were woken up by a new gravitational wave detection. I’m someone who enjoys a sound sleep more than anything else, but I never complain when the universe calls—and this particular alert was especially worth waking up for. Not only had LIGO-Virgo made a new detection, but I could immediately see what kind of event had triggered this blast of gravitational waves. It was almost certainly a collision between two objects in a mysterious gray area known as the “mass gap.” (Figure 1)
Figure 1 Left: The probabilities released by LIGO-Virgo on the source classification ...

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