GW190521: A Binary Black Hole Merger with a Total Mass of 150 M⊙

LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Virgo Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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-circle dot and 66(-18)(+17) M-circle dot (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-circle dot. We calculate the mass of the remnant to be 142(-16)(+28) M-circle dot, 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 pages17
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020


  • pair-instability


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