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At Gizmodo: A black hole collides with something that “shouldn’t exist”?

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Well, here’s the story, anyhow:

Astronomers are puzzling over observations that show a black hole smashing into a mystery object of unusual size.

New research published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters describes a collision between a black hole and a yet-to-be identified object. At the time of this celestial tryst, the black hole was 23 times more massive than our Sun, but the unknown object was just 2.6 times the Sun’s mass, which is distinctly weird.

The scientists behind the new paper, co-authored by astrophysicist Vicky Kalogera from Northwestern University, say the smaller object could be a black hole or a neutron star, the latter of which is the super-dense remnant of an exploded star. A black hole of 2.6 solar masses would be the smallest on record (the lightest known black hole is 5 solar masses), while a neutron star of the same mass would be the biggest on record (the heaviest neutron stars are between 2.3 and 2.4 solar masses). So either way, it’s not something astronomers have ever seen before—and in fact, it could represent an entirely new class of dense, compact objects.

George Dvorsky, “A Black Hole Collided With Something That Shouldn’t Exist” at Gizmodo

Paper. (open access)

Comments
"it’s not something astronomers have ever seen before", and they won't see that one again presumably. If a black hole "collides" with anything else, the anything else disappears, leaving the slightly bigger black hole looking for its next lunch. Also, there is something odd about the video that goes with the article, showing gravitational waves propagating as the two objects orbit each other closer and closer, until the big one gobbles up the little one. And therein lies the oddity: the big one clearly represents the heavier black hole, while the smaller one is the neutron star (or whatever it is). But surely a black hole, even at 10X the mass of the other body, is still much smaller (apparent event-horizon diameter) than any star or other non-black hole object? I would have expected to see a large object orbiting a smaller, almost stationary, object, and then being sucked into it, leaving the smaller (but a bit heavier) object much the same.Fasteddious
June 28, 2020
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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - HamletLatemarch
June 27, 2020
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"When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back." -- Master YodaSeversky
June 27, 2020
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Dark Matter !!!!! Finally found.Latemarch
June 27, 2020
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