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GW190521: a binary black hole merger with a total mass of 150 M⊙


Abbott, R and Abbott, TD and Siellez, K and The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration, GW190521: a binary black hole merger with a total mass of 150 M⊙, Physical Review Letters, 125 Article 101102. ISSN 0031-9007 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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2022 American Physical Society. All rights reserved. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. (

DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.101102


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+21−14 M⊙ and 66+17−18 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+28−16 M⊙, which can be considered an intermediate mass black hole (IMBH). The luminosity distance of the source is 5.3+2.4−2.6 Gpc, corresponding to a redshift of 0.82+0.28−0.34. The inferred rate of mergers similar to GW190521 is 0.13+0.300.11 Gpc−3yr−1.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:General relativity and gravitational waves
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Siellez, K (Dr Karelle Siellez)
ID Code:150291
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:574
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-06-07
Last Modified:2022-08-15
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