Title

GW190814: Gravitational Waves from the Coalescence of a 23 Solar Mass Black Hole with a 2.6 Solar Mass Compact Object

Authors

R. Abbott, California Institute of Technology
T. D. Abbott, Louisiana State University
S. Abraham, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics India
F. Acernese, Università degli Studi di Salerno
K. Ackley, Monash University
C. Adams, LIGO Livingston
R. X. Adhikari, California Institute of Technology
V. B. Adya, The Australian National University
C. Affeldt, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
M. Agathos, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
K. Agatsuma, University of Birmingham
N. Aggarwal, Northwestern University
O. D. Aguiar, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
A. Aich, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
L. Aiello, Gran Sasso Science Institute
A. Ain, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics India
P. Ajith, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
S. Akcay, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
G. Allen, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
A. Allocca, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa
P. A. Altin, The Australian National University
A. Amato, Université de Lyon
S. Anand, California Institute of Technology
A. Ananyeva, California Institute of Technology
S. B. Anderson, California Institute of Technology
W. G. Anderson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
S. V. Angelova, University of Strathclyde
S. Ansoldi, Università degli Studi di Udine
S. Antier, APC - AstroParticule et Cosmologie
S. Appert, California Institute of Technology
K. Arai, California Institute of Technology
M. C. Araya, California Institute of Technology
J. S. Areeda, California State University, Fullerton

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-20-2020

Abstract

We report the observation of a compact binary coalescence involving a 22.2-24.3 M o˙ black hole and a compact object with a mass of 2.50-2.67 M o˙ (all measurements quoted at the 90% credible level). The gravitational-wave signal, GW190814, was observed during LIGO's and Virgo's third observing run on 2019 August 14 at 21:10:39 UTC and has a signal-to-noise ratio of 25 in the three-detector network. The source was localized to 18.5 deg2 at a distance of 241 +41-41 Mpc; no electromagnetic counterpart has been confirmed to date. The source has the most unequal mass ratio yet measured with gravitational waves , 0.112+0.0090.008, , and its secondary component is either the lightest black hole or the heaviest neutron star ever discovered in a double compact-object system. The dimensionless spin of the primary black hole is tightly constrained to ≤0.07. Tests of general relativity reveal no measurable deviations from the theory, and its prediction of higher-multipole emission is confirmed at high confidence. We estimate a merger rate density of 1-23 Gpc-3 yr-1 for the new class of binary coalescence sources that GW190814 represents. Astrophysical models predict that binaries with mass ratios similar to this event can form through several channels, but are unlikely to have formed in globular clusters. However, the combination of mass ratio, component masses, and the inferred merger rate for this event challenges all current models of the formation and mass distribution of compact-object binaries.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Astrophysical Journal Letters

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