Tags: gravitational waves | ripples | virgo | ligo | black holes

Detection of Ripples in Space, 'New Era of Greater Insights'

Image: Detection of Ripples in Space, 'New Era of Greater Insights'

(AFP / Claudio Giovannini/Getty Images)

By    |   Saturday, 30 Sep 2017 06:22 PM

Scientists on Aug. 14 in the U.S. and Italy detected ripples in space and time created by the collision of two huge black holes, the National Science Foundation said on its website last week.

It's only the fourth time the ripples, or gravitational waves, have been observed by humans. The observatories that detected the cosmic gravitational waves were LIGO, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in Livingston, Louisana, and Hanford, Washington in the U.S., and the VIRGO Observatory in Italy.

The NSF said the observation by three different detectors marks "a new era of greater insights and improved localization of cosmic events now available through globally networked gravitational-wave observatories."

The event happened about 1.8 billion light years away, and resulted in a spinning black hole about 53 times the mass of the sun, which means "about three solar masses were converted into gravitational-wave energy during the coalescence" according to the NSF. The waves were emitted during the final moments of the collision of the black holes, one with a mass about 31 times the size of the sun and the other about 25 times the mass.

The detection of gravitational waves was first announced in February 2016, and every observation brings scientists closer to understanding how black holes work.

The new discovery will be detailed in the journal Physical Review Letters, but is available online now.

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Scientists on Aug. 14 in the U.S. and Italy detected ripples in space and time created by the collision of two huge black holes, the National Science Foundation said on its website last week.
gravitational waves, ripples, virgo, ligo, black holes
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2017-22-30
Saturday, 30 Sep 2017 06:22 PM
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