(ORDO NEWS) — A team of researchers from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, the University of Turin and the National Academy of Sciences of Turin have found evidence that the black hole collision that led to the discovery of the strange gravitational wave in 2019 was caused by a unique set of circumstances.
The development of gravitational wave detectors has led to a better understanding of what happens when black holes collide.
In most cases, the data showed, they are due to the fact that binary stars explode and then slowly spiral towards each other until they meet at the gravitational center and merge.
On May 21, 2019, gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes were detected, but the data showed that neither of the black holes appeared to be spinning, and the duration of the signal was shorter than in the rest of the cases that were detected earlier.
While modeling the data from the gravitational wave detectors, the researchers changed the characteristics until the model produced the type of signals that were observed.
This showed that the black holes were larger than average and were not part of a binary system. The scientists concluded that the two black holes were single objects, each moving randomly through space.
They were close enough to pull each other and then collide. For this scenario to develop, the black holes would probably have to belong to a cluster of black holes, which would increase the chances of random encounters.
The final simulation showed that the two black holes approached, passed next to each other, which caused them to veer sharply, then they approached again and eventually crashed into each other.
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