Apr 26, 2020

A unique (so far) gravitational wave signal

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Originally published by the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, or AEI) in Hannover, Germany, on April 20, 2020.

The expectations of the gravitational-wave research community have been fulfilled: gravitational-wave discoveries are now part of their daily work as they have identified in the past observing run, O3, new gravitational-wave candidates about once a week. But now, the researchers have published a remarkable signal unlike any of those seen before: GW190412 is the first observation of a binary black hole merger where the two black holes have distinctly different masses of about 8 and 30 times that of our sun. This not only has allowed more precise measurements of the system’s astrophysical properties, but it has also enabled the LIGO and Virgo scientists to verify a yet-untested prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

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