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LIGO Detects Third Set Of Gravitational Waves From Merging Massive Black Holes

First Posted: Jun 09, 2017 05:01 AM EDT
NASA Reports LIGO Detects Third Gravitational Wave
LIGO detected another set of gravitational waves from two colliding black holes.
(Photo : Science & Technology/YouTube screenshot)

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected another set of gravitational waves on Jan. 4, 2017. On the other hand, the discovery was just announced at a news conference on May 31, 2017. The discovery is seen as one of the most powerful astronomical events witnessed by mankind.

The detected gravitational waves come from the two black holes that merged about 3 billion light-years away from the planet Earth. The two black holes were massive with masses about 19 and 31 times of the Sun.

The first detection of gravitational waves by LIGO was on Sep. 14, 2015. The black holes were even bigger with masses about 29 and 36 times the mass of the Sun. The second detection was on Dec. 26, 2015. This time the gravitational waves came from smaller black holes with masses about 8 and 14 times the mass of the Sun, according to Tech You N Me.

According to LIGO, gravitational waves are "ripples" or waves in the fabric of space-time that are triggered by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the universe. The general theory of relativity by Albert Einstein stated the prediction of the existence of gravitational waves in 1916.

The theory indicates that the massive accelerating objects like neutron stars or black holes that orbit each other could dislocate space-time. This could make the waves radiate from the source. The waves would also travel at the speed of light in the universe.

The gravitational waves are generated by a phenomenon like merging black holes, the amalgamation of neutron stars or white dwarf stars, the collapse of stellar cores known as supernovae. The rotation of neutron stars and the fragments of gravitational radiation is produced by the birth of the universe.

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