Gravitational wave detection hints at unexpected power from star explosion
AURORE SIMONNET/SONOMA STATE, MIT, CALTECH, LIGO
Gravitational waves are providing new hints about how black holes get their kicks.
The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s detection of spacetime ripples from two merging black holes on December 26, 2015, indicated that one black hole was spinning like a tilted top as it orbited with its companion (SN: 7/9/16, p. 8). That off-kilter spin could mean that the stellar explosion that produced the black hole gave it a strong kick, physicist Richard O'Shaughnessy and colleagues report in a paper in press in Physical Review Letters.
Scientists aren’t sure how black holes like those detected by LIGO pair up (