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1 day ago
Shrouded in mystery since their discovery, the phenomenon of black holes continues to be one of the most mind-boggling enigmas in our universe.
In recent years, many researchers have made strides in understanding black holes using observational astronomy and an emerging field known as gravitational wave astronomy, first hypothesized by Albert Einstein, which directly measures the gravitational waves emitted by black holes.
Through these findings on black hole gravitational waves, which were first observed in 2015 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories (LIGO) in Louisiana and Washington, researchers have learned exciting details about these invisible objects and developed theories and projections on everything from their sizes to their physical properties.
Still, limitations in LIGO and other observation technologies have kept scientists from grasping a more complete picture of black holes, and one of the largest gaps in knowledge concerns a certain type of black hole: those of intermediate-mass, or black holes that fall somewhere between supermassive (at least a million times greater than our sun) and stellar (think: smaller, though still 5 to 50 times greater than the mass of our sun).
Along with collaborators at Georgia Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, the new paper, "Detectability of Intermediate-Mass Black Holes in Multiband Gravitational Wave Astronomy," looks at the future of LIGO detectors alongside the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) space-mission, which would help humans get a step closer to understanding what happens in and around black holes.