Physicists of the international collaboration LIGO and VIRGO for the first time were able to register the burst of gravitational waves that occurred during the merger of black holes in asymmetrical binary system. They had masses of 29.7 and 8.4 mass of the Sun. The results allowed to impose constraints on models of formation of such systems, and to once again prove the predictions of the General theory of relativity. Preprint published on the website arXiv.org.
Gravitational waves represent wave oscillations of the geometry of space-time, the existence of which was predicted by the General theory of relativity. Since the announcement of the first registration of gravitational waves in 2016, the laser interferometers LIGO and VIRGO conducted two Supervisory campaigns O1 and O2, which led to the first detection of gravitational burst from the merger of neutron stars and neutron star and black hole, as well as to increase the number of observed mergers of black holes. Third observation period began April 1, 2019, after the next upgrade of the detectors, which allowed to significantly increase their sensitivity.
Graviton surge, the designation GW170608, was registered April 12, 2019 at 05:30 GMT Observatory, the Advanced Virgo and the two LIGO observatories Advanced. The time difference of the registration allowed to estimate the source location of the signal on the celestial sphere within 156 square degrees, the probability of false positives is less than one event in 105 years. Notification of registration of the burst was sent to various observatories to search for possible sources of electromagnetic radiation in this region of the sky associated with the surge.
Analysis of data showed that first time scientists were able to detect gravitational waves from asymmetric binary system of black holes that have masses of 29.7 and 8.4 mass of the Sun. Up to this point were recorded of merging black holes with equal masses. The signal went to Earth from 1.9 to 2.9 billion years.