Chief among them is that the original object may have been a relatively small neutron star that was effectively “swallowed whole” by a black hole.
They said the object formed when another unknown body merged with a large black hole around 800 million years ago, in doing so emitting a huge gravitational wave detectable on Earth.
The Advanced Virgo detector at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) in Italy and two wave observatories in the U.S. discovered the object last year and calculated it to weigh around 2.6 times our own Sun.
PARIS — A mysterious object roughly 800 million light-years from Earth detected using gravitational wave sensors is either one of the smallest black holes or one of the largest neutron stars so far discovered, scientists said on Wednesday.
Since its gravitational wave is proof of its formation, the researchers said the object’s discovery questions the existence of the mass gap.
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