The most massive stars die, they collapse under their gravity and leave behind black holes—the death of stars that are less massive than this leading to neutron stars.
The most massive known neutron star is no more than 2.5 times the mass of our sun or 2.5 solar masses, and the lightest known black hole is about five solar masses. The question remained: Does anything lie in this so-called mass gap?
Scientists from the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the European Virgo detector, scientists have reported about the discovery of an object of 2.6 solar masses, placing it firmly in the mass gap.
Originally discovered on Aug. 14, 2019, the object was detected using LIGO and VIRGO as merged with a black hole of 23 solar masses, generating a splash of gravitational waves.
This cosmic merger dubbed as GW190814, and the event resulted in a final black hole about 25 times the mass of the sun. The black hole lies about 800 million light-years away from Earth.