Another LIGO black hole merger detected

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Astronomers have announced another black hole merger detected by the LIGO gravitational wave observatory.

Dubbed GW170608, the latest discovery was produced by the merger of two relatively light black holes, 7 and 12 times the mass of the sun, at a distance of about a billion light-years from Earth. The merger left behind a final black hole 18 times the mass of the sun, meaning that energy equivalent to about 1 solar mass was emitted as gravitational waves during the collision.

This event, detected by the two NSF-supported LIGO detectors at 02:01:16 UTC on June 8, 2017 (or 10:01:16 pm on June 7 in US Eastern Daylight time), was actually the second binary black hole merger observed during LIGO’s second observation run since being upgraded in a program called Advanced LIGO. But its announcement was delayed due to the time required to understand two other discoveries: a LIGO-Virgo three-detector observation of gravitational waves from another binary black hole merger (GW170814) on August 14, and the first-ever detection of a binary neutron star merger (GW170817) in light and gravitational waves on August 17.



  • LocalFluff

    After the first one was announced, when the Nobel prize gold medal suddenly rung in their heads against all the odds, they predicted to find between 2 and 400 events per year. And they have delivered right in the middle of that narrow interval! Great astronomical precision!

    Kip Thorne is the greatest physicist of our time. He is of course the face for many many others, but he is a well deserved personification of the whole of this successful life time project. He has this slight speech impediment that sounds pretty much like the chirp of the black hole mergers he detected. Maybe it is psychosomatic, having hunted that chirp all of his life.

  • wayne

    “Another Brick In the Wall” part 2
    Pink Floyd

  • wayne

    Kip Thorn- has he always done that verbal tick thing? I only noticed it recently myself, not a huge consumer of Kip Thorn video.

    (1st one is at the 12 second mark)
    Kip Thorne – Why Black Holes Are Astonishing

  • wayne

    Sir Roger Penrose –
    ‘Einstein’s Amazing Theory of Gravity: Black Holes and Novel Ideas in Cosmology’
    London Mathematical Society 2015

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