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Those Gravitational Wave Black Holes May Have Merged Inside A Massive Star


The black holes may have originated in a ‘dumbbell’ shape like this. NASA


Not long ago, scientists have found gravitational waves for the first time from merging black holes. And then there are too many follow-up stories to miss. Now a new missions has already been implemented in search for visible light linked with the merger event. Surprisingly, an intriguing piece of research has emerged, being associated with the source of the merger.

Such research was reported by New Scientist that after gravitational waves were detected by LIGO, with help of Fermi gamma-ray space telescope of NASA, scientists had detected a flash of gamma rays 0.4 seconds after the signal from the merger was discovered . The chance of the two signals which were see as coincided and unrelated was almost estimated at 0.0022 percent.

According to astronomer Avi Loeb from Harvard University, the merger itself couldn’t be accountable for the flash of gamma rays. Instead, he was proposing that the two black holes were actually inside a massive star, which was several hundred times more massive than the Sun. After being merged , the star fell apart and generated this intense beam of gamma rays.

It is known that that stars can produce single black holes when they fall apart, but to the eyes of Loeb, a fast rotating star could have shaped the core into a “dumbbell,” which broke into two cores that individually collapsed to form the two black holes.

In his paper available on Arxiv. Loeb wrote that he had shown the two signals could be associated if the black hole binary detected by LIGO coming from two clumps in a dumbbell configuration that formed when the core of a fast rotating massive star fell apart.

However, at present, it is just kind of a theory, because  the European INTEGRAL, another gamma-ray spacecraft, failed to reproduce the detection by Fermi, making it clear  that it could not be a real signal.

But if it is real, it means the merging black holes must have been surrounded by a lot of material so as to generate this flash of gamma rays. And it seems placing the two black holes inside a massive star might be one way to explain its possibility.

No matter whatever the case is, it would be quite amazing that a lot of research is being carried out after this 7 millisecond-lasting detection. It is hoped that a new sector of science would come into being when more possible detection could be made.

Source: New Scientist

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