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Astronomers see black holes swallowing neutron stars

Talk about heavy treats. For the first time, astronomers instantly witnessed a black hole swallowing a neutron star, the densest object in the universe.

Ten days later, they saw the same thing on the other side of the universe. In both cases, the neutron star (a teaspoon weighs 1 billion tonnes) orbits closer to its final non-returning point, the black hole, until it finally collides and wobbles. Draw.

Astronomers have witnessed the last 500 orbits before the neutron star was swallowed. This process quickly generated the same amount of energy as all visible light in the observable universe in less than a minute.

Patrick Brady, an astrophysicist and co-author of the study at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said: The black hole “has a nice neutron star supper and makes itself a little bigger.”

This figure, provided by Soheb Mandhai, shows the distortion of time and space as the black hole on the left tries to swallow a neutron star.
This figure, provided by Soheb Mandhai, shows the distortion of time and space as the black hole on the left tries to swallow a neutron star.
AP

Burst of energy from a collision Detector Found a merger on earth Gravitational wavesThe energetic ripples of the universe soar across space-time, as first theorized by Albert Einstein. They each came from over a billion light-years away. The wave was detected in January 2020, but a study by more than 100 scientists on the analysis and interpretation of data was published on Tuesday. Astrophysical Journal Letter.

Astronomers were watching gravitational waves from Two black holes Collide with each other Two neutron stars This is the first time I’ve seen them collide with each other and each one crashes together.

Neutron star It is a corpse of a giant star, which remains after the death of a large star in a supernova explosion. According to Brady, they are so dense that they weigh about 1.5 to 2 times the mass of the Sun, but are condensed to about 6 miles (10 km) wide. Some black holes, called stellar black holes, are created when a larger star collapses, creating something with such a strong gravity that even light cannot escape.

Scientists believe there should be many combinations of these neutron stars and black holes, but we haven’t found them in our own galaxies yet.

“This is very cool,” said Mark Kamionkowski, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University who was not part of the study. He said this would help astronomers predict how abundant these combinations would be.

Astronomers see black holes swallowing neutron stars

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