LIGO Document P2000020-v12

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

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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 \(85^{+21}_{-14} M_{\odot}\) and \(66^{+17}_{-18} M_{\odot}\) (\(90\%\) credible intervals). We infer that the primary black hole mass lies within the gap produced by (pulsational) pair-instability supernova processes, and has only a \(0.32 \%\) probability of being below \(65 M_{\odot}\). We calculate the mass of the remnant to be \(142^{+28}_{-16} M_{\odot}\), 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 \(0.13^{+0.30}_{-0.11}\,\mathrm{Gpc}^{-3}\,\mathrm{yr}^{-1}\).
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