July 15, 2024



LIGO and Virgo detect rare mergers of black holes with neutron stars for the first time

MIT Physics

By Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office MIT News

June 29, 2021

Today, an international team of scientists, including researchers at MIT, have announced the detection of a new kind of astrophysical system: a collision between a black hole and a neutron star — two of the densest, most exotic objects in the universe.

Scientists have detected signals of colliding black holes, and colliding neutron stars, but had not confirmed a merging of a black hole with a neutron star until now. In a study appearing today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the scientists report observing not just one, but two such rare events, each of which gave off gravitational waves that reverberated across a large swath of the universe before reaching Earth in January 2020, just 10 days apart.

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