New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: A group of astronomers have detected a gravitational wave signal from what may be the most massive and distant black hole merger recorded till date. The signal lasting one tenth of a second emanated when two black holes weighing about 66 and 85 times the mass of the sun collided about seven billion years ago — about half the age of the universe — to form an intermediate black hole weighing about 142 solar mass.

The ripple produced in space due to the collision travelled across the cosmos at the speed of light and were captured by detectors LIGO and Virgo on May 21, 2019, according to a report by Associated Press. The results were published on Wednesday in Physical Review Letters and Astrophysical Journal Letters

A black hole is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it. Several collisions of black hole have been recorded in gravitational waves by LIGO and Virgo over the past five years.

However, the collisions observed in the past involved black holes of smaller sizes and the resultant black hole didn't grow beyond the size of typical stellar black holes. Given the sizes of the black holes involved, the latest detection may offer a clue to how supermassive blackholes at the centre of galaxies are formed.

“It's conceivable that this pair of black holes formed entirely differently, possibly in a dense system with lots of dead stars whizzing about, which allows one black hole to capture another during a fly by," said Barnard College astronomer Janna Levin, who wasn't part of the research.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja