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LIGO-Virgo Finds Mystery Object in "Mass Gap"

Artist's Rendition of a Mystery Object in 'Mass Gap' Found by LIGO and Virgo

Artist's Rendition of a Mystery Object in 'Mass Gap' Found by LIGO and Virgo

June 25, 2020

Large stars that die collapse into their gravity fields and become black holes, the lightest being five times the mass of our sun (solar mass).  Smaller stars die in an supernova explosion whose remnants are called neutron stars, the heaviest of which is 2.5 solar masses.  What lies between 2.5 and 5 solar masses? A mystery object has been detected by the the National Science Foundation's Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Virgo detector in Europe.  The 2.6 solar mass object  was seen while it merged with a black hole of 23 solar masses on 14 August 2019. A paper about the detection has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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