Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gravitational waves: The fourth event

A new gravitational wave signal arising from a black hole collision was detected on August 14, this year, and was announced by the National Science Foundation today. A special feature of this observation was that it was observed by the pair of LIGO detectors in Livingston and Hanford in the  U.S.A as well as by the Virgo detector in Pisa. As a result, the location of the event, which involved the merger of two black holes of 25 and 31 solar masses, into one  spinning black hole of 53 solar masses, could be pinpointed 10 times more accurately than it could be using the LIGO detectors alone. The event, designated GW170814 was located in a region of size 60 square degrees which is about 1.8 billion light years away.

Further details are awaited in a forthcoming Physical Review Letters. Meanwhile, here is  a video of a numerical simulation uploaded by the Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut).

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Tailpiece : Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne have won the  Physics Nobel prize for 2017 for their work on the Ligo/Virgo  experiment and the detection of gravitational waves. See link. 

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