The Mystery Of How Two Black Holes Merge Resolved

First Posted: Apr 07, 2017 03:30 AM EDT

Scientists have long been puzzled on the mystery of how two black holes merge and collide. This is unraveled as the researchers from the University of Birmingham can now understand this mystery.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications. The scientists observed two mergers of pairs of black holes using the Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory). It identified gravitational waves from two black holes, namely the GW150914 and GW151226 together with a black hole merger candidate LVT 151012.

The scientists found that for black holes to merge, they must be located closely together by astronomical standards in no more than about a fifth of the distance between the planet Earth and the Sun. On the other hand, the massive stars, which are the prototypes or the originators of black holes, expand more during their lives. This leads to an issue and scenarios on how such massive stars could fit in a very small orbit.

The scientists discovered that the stars interact as they become larger, in which they are engaged in many episodes of mass transfer. One such typical of this is the fast and powerfully unstable mass transfer that covers the stellar cores in a dense cloud of hydrogen gas. Once this gas was ejected from the system, the energy was discharged from the orbit. With this, the two stars become close together for gravitational wave emission to be effectual. The entire process could take a few million years to shape two black holes, and this could possibly delay for billions of years before the black holes merge and form into one black hole, according to

The team also found that the merging of two black holes with different masses suggests that the stars shaped wholly from hydrogen and helium and other elements, contributing fewer than 0.1 percent of stellar matter. Professor IIya Mandel, the senior author of the study, described this observation as "paleontology" for gravitational waves. He compared it to a paleontologist, who never sees a living dinosaur and tries to determine how the massive reptile looked and lived from its skeletal remains. Likewise, Prof. Mandel said that in their analysis of the merging black holes, they figured out how those stars interrelated during their course of intense lives, as noted by the Seeker. 

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