Scientists puzzle over the massive, unprecedented stellar system in the Milky Way

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Earlier this year, an international team of scientists announced the second detection of a gravitational wave signal from a collision of two neutron stars. This event, called GW190425, is bewildering: the combined mass of two neutron stars is greater than any other observed binary neutron star system. The total mass is 3.4 times the mass of our sun.

A neutron star with such a mass has never been seen in our galaxy, and scientists still wondered how it could form. A team of astrophysicists at the ARC Gravity Wave Research Center of Excellence (OzGrav) believes they might have an answer.

Binary neutron stars emit gravitational waves – ripples in space-time – when they rotate around each other, and scientists can detect these waves when neutron stars merge. Gravitational waves contain information about neutron stars, including their masses.

Gravitational waves from the cosmic event GW190425 speak of a binary neutron star, more massive than any binary neutron star, previously observed either by radio wave or gravitational wave astronomy. A recent study by Ph.D. Ozgrav Isobel Romero Shaw of Monash University offers a new perspective that explains both the high mass of this double object and the fact that such systems are not observed using traditional radio astronomy methods.

The Romero show says: “We assume that GW190425 was formed as a result of a process that we call an“ unstable mass transfer case, ”a procedure that was originally defined in 1981.

The process begins with a neutron star that has a stellar partner – a helium star ( He) with a carbon-oxygen nucleus (CO). If the helium portion of a star expands far enough to absorb a neutron star, then this helium cloud will eventually bring the binary together before it dissipates. then a star explodes in a supernova and collapses to a neutron star.”

Binary neutron stars that form in this way can be significantly more massive than those observed with radio waves. They also merge very quickly after a supernova explosion, which makes their detection using radio astronomy research unlikely.

Modern ground-based gravity-wave detectors are not sensitive enough to accurately measure eccentricity, but future detectors, such as the LISA space detector, which is scheduled to be launched in 2034, will allow scientists to draw more accurate conclusions.


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