Strong magnetic field prevents mass from fleeing, computer simulations show
To create a heavy black hole, it might help to start with a massive magnetic star.
Strong magnetic fields could help stem the flow of gas from a heavyweight star, leaving behind enough material to form hefty black holes, a new study suggests. A pair of such magnetic stars could be responsible for giving birth to the black hole duo that created recently detected gravitational waves, researchers report online December 1 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The shake-up in spacetime that was picked up the Advanced Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, in 2015 came from a collision between two black holes weighing about 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun (SN: 3/5/16, p. 6). Such plump black holes were surprising. The