Performing Simulations Gives Way to A Better Understanding of Blackholes, Core-Collapse Supernova and Gravitational Waves

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The nature of stars and black holes, their history, and how they transform over time, has had astrophysicists scratching their heads for a very long time.

Blackholes and stars are interrelated. In fact, the destruction of one is the formation of the other. It is the explosion of stars that leads to the formation of a black hole. A core-collapse supernova happens to be the biggest explosion a star can go through once it reaches its end of time. Core-Collapse supernova does not only lead to the formation of black holes but also generates a neutron star and gives out gravitational waves during the explosion.

These gravitational waves help the astrophysicists to get the gist behind the astrophysics of black holes. But to understand the black holes through gravitational waves, astrophysicists need to get a better idea of the wave nature itself. This is where the computer simulations come in handy.

Simulations were generated on supercomputers to observe a star explosion and study the gravitational waves that were produced to get a better understanding of the observable properties of a star. The findings were later published by Dr. Jade Powell and Dr. Bernhard Mueller in the study, ”Three-dimensional core-collapse supernova simulations of massive and rotating progenitors”.

The simulations were carried out on the OzStar supercomputer to study the core-collapse supernovae of stars that happened to be 39 times, 20 times, and 18 times more massive than the sun. The two of the largest stars exploded, however, the smaller one managed to stay intact. nevertheless, it still produced gravitational waves that required extremely sensitive gravitational wave detectors to detect the waves.

Jade Powell, who is one of the authors of the published study, says that,

“For the first time, we showed that rotation changes the relationship between the gravitational-wave frequency and the properties of the newly-forming neutron star.”

New studies and experiments are being conducted to produce more sensitive gravitational wave detectors. This study clarifies that once those wave detectors are available for research, they can detect a star exploding 6.5 million years away. One of the wave detectors that is being anticipated by the astrophysicists is Einstein Telescope.

Reference

Jade Powell, Bernhard Müller, Three-dimensional core-collapse supernova simulations of massive and rotating progenitors, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, , staa1048, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa1048

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