LIGO Document P1600070-v2

Double Bonanza at the LIGO Gravitational Wave Detectors

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P - Publications
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Soon after the two advanced LIGO detectors were ready in September 2015 for a
calibrated observation run, a giant gravitational wave burst hit the detectors
and were duly recorded as nearly identical chirped signal wave spiraling up
in frequency and amplitude from 35 Hz to 250 Hz, with a relative delay of 6.9
ms, well inside the light travel distance of 10 ms between the two detectors.
The peak strain amplitude touched 10\( ^{-21} \), 50 times the base sensitivity at
present. Analysis of the 200 ms event led to the unanimous conclusion that
LIGO detectors saw gravitational waves from two orbiting and merging black
holes of nearly 30 solar mass each, at a distance of about 1.3 billion light
years. We sketch this double discovery of great scientific and astronomical
importance - the terrestrial detection of gravitational waves with high SNR,
ushering in the era of gravitational wave astronomy, and the discovery of a
stellar mass binary black hole system, observed during their orbital evolution
towards merger and then to the formation of a single stable black hole, all
invisible to any other form of astronomy.
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  • pdf file (ligoevent-cs_rev.pdf, 1.4 MB)
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Notes and Changes:
Removed all pedagogic arguments and estimates to convert to a news article with only public information. More stress on the IndIGO consortium and the LIGO-India initiative in context.

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