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A global ecology study site and a mystery astronomical object in the « mass gap »

By 30 juin 2020 juillet 6th, 2020 No Comments

Dear LABNAUT readers,

Today we learrn about a global ecology study site on the Mahoran archipelago and the first discovery of a compact star in the “mass gap”.

The CNRS and Mayotte’s Centre Universitaire de Formation et de Recherche (CUFR) have just approved the creation of a global ecology study site on the Mahoran archipelago. Thanks to this site, scientists will now have a global vision of Mayotte’s unique socio-ecosystem and will be able to assess its richness, functioning and resilience in the face of environmental threats.

Microlight view of the mangrove in the bay of Bouéni, Mayotte. Between the lagoon and the urbanised and cultivated coastline, the mangrove is subject to strong anthropic pressure. © François FROMARD/ECOLAB/CNRS Photothèque

Source: Mayotte: launch of a global study on this fragile and unique ecosystem

Meanwhile, the Virgo and LIGO collaborations have discovered a compact star weighing about 2.6 times the mass of the Sun. Since a compact star with a mass between 2.5 and 5 solar masses been never been observed before, this range is known as the « mass gap » (literally: a gap in mass distribution). In this interval, the stars are too heavy to be neutron stars and too light to be black holes formed during supernovae explosions.

« We are quite sure that the universe is telling us, for the umpteenth time, that our ideas on how compact objects form, evolve and merge are still very fuzzy, » says Mario Spera, a member of the Virgo group at the University of Padua.

Artist’s view of the GW190814 event in which a lighter compact star is « swallowed » by a black hole nine times more massive © Alex Andrix

Source: Première découverte d’un astre compact dans le mass gap

Journal reference: GW190814: Gravitational Waves from the Coalescence of a 23 Solar Mass Black Hole with a 2.6 Solar Mass Compact ObjectThe Astrophysical Journal Letters. R. Abbott, T. D. Abbott, S. Abraham, F. Acernese, K. Ackley, C. Adams, R. X. Adhikari, V. B. Adya, C. Affeldt, M. Agathos et al.