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Look, Up in the Sky! Is it a Black Hole? Is it a Neutron Star? Good Question.

13 Jul 2020, 14:12 UTC
Look, Up in the Sky! Is it a Black Hole? Is it a Neutron Star? Good Question.
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Title: GW190814: Gravitational Waves from the Coalescence of a 23 M☉Black Hole with a 2.6 M☉ Compact ObjectAuthors: The LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the Virgo CollaborationStatus: Accepted by ApJ Letters, open access on arXivOver the last five years the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, has been reporting detections of gravitational waves from the mergers of binary black hole and binary neutron star systems. In their third observing run, O3, which ran from April 1 – September 30, 2019, LIGO, in conjunction with VIRGO, have already reported two new and exciting detections: the merger of two black holes with the largest mass differential (GW190412) ever observed and a second binary neutron star merger (GW190425). The focus of today’s paper is on their latest announcement, GW190814 (shown in Figure 1), which may give us new insights into the formation of lopsided binary systems and what matter is like inside of a neutron star.

Figure 1: Gravitational energy of GW190814 as seen in the two LIGO detectors and in Virgo. Most obvious in LIGO Livingston, as the energy goes up in frequency, the system spirals inwards faster and faster until it merges. This standard signal is also called a “chirp“. (Figure 1 from ...

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