GW190521: A Binary Black Hole Merger with a Total Mass of 150  M_{⊙}

LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaborations

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On May 21, 2019 at 03:02:29 UTC Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo observed a short duration gravitational-wave signal, GW190521, with a three-detector network signal-to-noise ratio of 14.7, and an estimated false-alarm rate of 1 in 4900 yr using a search sensitive to generic transients. If GW190521 is from a quasicircular binary inspiral, then the detected signal is consistent with the merger of two black holes with masses of 85_{-14}^{+21}  M_{⊙} and 66_{-18}^{+17}  M_{⊙} (90% credible intervals). We infer that the primary black hole mass lies within the gap produced by (pulsational) pair-instability supernova processes, with only a 0.32% probability of being below 65  M_{⊙}. We calculate the mass of the remnant to be 142_{-16}^{+28}  M_{⊙}, which can be considered an intermediate mass black hole (IMBH). The luminosity distance of the source is 5.3_{-2.6}^{+2.4}  Gpc, corresponding to a redshift of 0.82_{-0.34}^{+0.28}. The inferred rate of mergers similar to GW190521 is 0.13_{-0.11}^{+0.30}  Gpc^{-3} yr^{-1}.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101102
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2020


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