GW190521 unveils new and unexpected black hole populations


Virgo and LIGO have announced the detection of an extraordinarily massive merging binary system: two black holes of 66 and 85 solar masses, which generated a final black hole of 142 solar masses. The remnant lies in a range of mass that has never before been observed, either via gravitational waves or with electromagnetic observations.

The final black hole is the most massive ever detected with gravitational waves.

The breaking of the mass record of the Virgo and LIGO observational runs is just one of the many special features that make the detection of this exceptional merger an unprecedented discovery. A crucial aspect, which particularly drew the attention of astrophysicists, is that the remnant belongs to the class of the so-called intermediate-mass black holes (from a hundred up to a hundred thousand times the mass of the Sun). Read more on the Virgo site

In addition to Polish Virgo-Polgraw researchers, Polish scientists working abroad played an important role: Marek SzczepaƄczyk (LIGO, University of Florida) and Mateusz Bawaj (Virgo, University of Perugia).