Second Gravitational Wave Detected

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A new discovery was announced at an astronomical meeting in San Diego revealing that a second pair of black holes that devoured each other 1.4 billion years ago have been detected.

The same group of astronomers that produced the first audio of the gravitational-wave chirps, they gathered that in the new merger, the black holes were roughly 14 and 8 times as massive as the sun, circled and combined into a single spinning black hole 21 times as massive as the sun. The collision spilled an amount of energy equivalent to the entire mass of the sun into space-time.

Albert Lazzarini, the deputy director of the LIGO laboratory at Caltech, said “LIGO, is bringing us a new way to observe some of the darkest yet most energetic events in our universe. With two detections in four months, scientists could begin to make quantitative predictions on how many events they might observe and how many black holes there are in the universe.”

More gravitational-wave detectors are scheduled to come online in the near future, allowing astronomers to pinpoint the locations of these events in the sky and feel the emanations of doom ever more sensitively.

The study is being published in Physical Review Letters by about a thousand scientists in the LIGO and Virgo Collaborations, which analyze data from the gravitational wave detectors.

Source: NYTimes

 

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