Black Hole Eats a Neutron Star


Andres Nichols, Contributor

On August 14th, a cosmic collision occurred which caused a never seen before event. Scientists detected that a black hole was absorbing a neutron star, which is only the remaining portion of a dying star. Due to this collision, scientists believe that the merging of the two space objects cause ripples in the fabric of spacetime. Scientists also believe that this event could help people understand more about the universe, and how it works.

The collision of the black hole and the neutron star was not that surprising to some scientists. This is because some scientists have always believed that such an event was plausible but being able to see it through a telescope would be a wonder. Scientists expect that the collision should create gravitational waves. As predicted, two observatories, VIRGO and LIGO, both detected this space event with gravitational waves and confirmed that it truly was a collision of a black hole and a neutron star. The detectors claim that this was not the first time there was a noticed merge between a black hole and a neutron star. However, the researchers claim that this most recent merge was much more important and fascinating than the previous one which occurred on April 26. The LIGO team claimed that based on the data about the gravitational waves, it is highly unlikely that the collision of the black hole and the neutron star was a false occurrence.

Susan Scott, leader of the General Relativity Theory and Data Analysis Group, had said, “About 900 million years ago, this black hole collided with a very dense star, known as a neutron star, possibly snuffing out the star instantly.” It is surprising that it took so long for the gravitational forces to reach Earth but it is a reasonable amount of time because the event took place 8,550 million trillion kilometers away from Earth. Further studies have seemed to prove that the merging of the black hole and the neutron star was an event eleven times larger than the moon. When some scientist at NASA heard the news, they tried to look for any bright lights that might be from the black hole and neutron star merge. Being able to see the light that was projected from the collision will be a monumental moment in astronomy because it will allow scientists to see inside of a neutron star. Unfortunately it is not a certainty if the telescopes can even see the direct effects.

Time is unfortunately against the scientists in learning more about the black hole and the neutron star. The neutron has not quite entered the black hole entirely because the closer the star gets to the black hole the slower the process becomes. Because of this, scientists believe that the black hole will gravitationally break apart the neutron star before it fully merged together.

Scientists are trying to put together the collected data to get a better understanding about the events of the black hole and the neutron star. Hopefully luck is on their side and they find some more interesting information about neutron stars or even possibly a new discovery about the way how the universe works.