Imagine a spinning skater. She pulls her arms in a little and spins faster. She brings her arms all the way into her chest, and spins really fast, and then bam! she rockets up into the sky. Seven years ago, computer simulations revealed a configuration of two spinning black holes that merged in this way, jumping out of their orbital plane with a velocity of several thousand km/s. Not only is this weird, it’s also important. We know that large galaxies host supermassive black holes at their centers. We also know that galaxies merge, presumably introducing their black holes to one another. If the newly formed black hole were to exit the galaxy entirely, it could carry its accretion disk with it, and be observable as a displaced core.
Null data are still data! Chen & Holz use a lack of detections to place a lower limit on the beaming angle of SGRBs.
The authors raise a key point about the detection of gravitational waves from the early universe. Not only would such a detection verify the theory of inflation, but it would also prove the quantization of gravity.
Short gamma-ray bursts, extremely energetic explosions in the Universe, might be caused by the merger of two compact objects. In the two papers we discuss today, the authors test this scenario by looking for light emitted still a few days after the explosion.
The race to be the first to detect gravitational waves is on – are pulsar timing arrays on the verge of a discovery? New predictions based on revised galaxy merger calculations suggest that it may be so.
Paper title: Verifying the no-hair property of massive compact objects with intermediate-mass-ratio inspirals in advanced gravitational-wave detectors Authors: Carl L. Rodriguez, Ilya Mandel, Jonathan R. Gair First Author’s Affiliation: Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) & Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University These authors propose that advanced gravitational wave detectors will […]