LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves

It is always amazing how our planet was created and the forces that control it continue to cause climatic and weather conditions that leave researchers and scientists alike dumb-founded. For the second time, scientists have detected a gravitational wave. After preliminary studies, the team is convinced that the waves that reached planet Earth were produced by two black holes, which apparently collided at approximately half the speed of light and 1.4 billion light years away.

To detect the waves, scientists used twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors that are located in Louisiana, Hanford, Livingston, and Washington. Last year in December, the same detectors detected a faint signal of the same, but this time the detectors were 3,000 kilometers apart.

The first gravitational waves detection, which was reported in February 11, produced a rather clear peak in the data. Unlike it, the second one was more subtle and generated a shallow waveform that was almost undetectable. To uncover the truth, the team used special data analysis equipment and techniques and the results showed that what was recorded by the interferometers was actually a distant gravitational wave.

After carrying out further studies, the researchers came to the conclusion that the black holes that generated the wave were 7.5 and 14.2 times respectively the total mass of the sun. The two black holes spun around each other 55 times at half the speed of light before merging and producing the waves that were detected. Approximately1.4 billion years ago, a similar cataclysm occurred, but that time, it produced an enormous spinning hole that is projected to have been 20.8 times the total mass of the sun.

This new discovery has proved and confirmed the well-known Einstein’s theory of relativity. One of the scientists, Salvatore Vitale, said that what they observed was a population of binary holes that exists in the universe and the team expects to experience more in the coming years.



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