Scientists think they might have explained the origin of a bizarre ripple in spacetime that swept through Earth on May 21, 2019, and has defied easy explanation ever since.
This disturbance in the very fabric of the universe, known as a gravitational wave, may have been produced by a type of cataclysmic merger between black holes that has never been seen before, potentially shedding light on the mysterious dynamics between these exotic objects, reports a new study.
Gravitational waves are generated by extreme cosmic phenomena, such as collisions between black holes or the explosive deaths of massive stars. Since 2015, scientists have been able to capture these incredibly subtle waves using sophisticated detectors, a breakthrough that has opened an entirely new window into the universe.
…The two black holes that merged to make this wave were both several dozen times the mass of the Sun, making this the biggest black hole union ever detected.
However, the short duration and unusual signature of the wave have sparked debate about the masses, spins, and orbits of the two black holes that sent these ripples into space. In other words, it’s not exactly clear just what kind of a merger it would take to make these weird waves.
I’ve been a science and sci-fi geek all my reading life. This is the stuff of dreams…and it’s reality we’re looking at. Even if it’s still early days when it comes to understanding the processes concerned.