LIGO Document G1601317-v2

Searching for - and finding! - gravitational waves

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On September 14 2015, the two LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana registered a nearly simultaneous signal with time-frequency properties consistent with gravitational-wave emission by the merger of two massive compact objects. Further analysis of the signals by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration revealed that the gravitational
waves detected by LIGO came from the merger of a binary black hole (BBH) system approximately 420 Mpc distant (z=0.09) with constituent masses of 36 and 29 M_sun.
I will describe the details of the observation, the status of ground-based interferometric detectors, and prospects for future observations in the new era of gravitational wave astronomy.
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