New populations of black holes revealed by gravitational waves

This is the biggest catch to date on the hunting board of the Ligo and Virgo gravitational wave detectors: a black hole with the mass of 142 suns, resulting from the fusion of two black holes of 85 and 65 times the mass of Sun. The final black hole is the heaviest ever observed with gravitational waves and it  could give indications on the formation of the supermassive black holes which sit at the center of certain galaxies. The mass of one of the fused black holes, one 85 times the mass of the Sun, provides evidence that could improve our understanding of the final stages in the evolution of massive stars. The discovery, to which several CNRS teams contributed within the Virgo collaboration, was published on September 2, 2020 in the journals Physical Review Letters and Astrophysical Journal Letters.

2020-09-28 12:02