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Gravitational waves detected from second pair of colliding black holes

On Dec. 26, 2015, scientists observed gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime -- for the second time. The gravitational waves were detected by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. Gravitational waves carry information about their origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists have concluded that these gravitational waves were produced during the final moments of the merger of two black holes -- eight and 14 times the mass of the sun -- to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole that is 21 times the mass of the sun. Researchers say it’s very significant that these black holes were much less massive than those observed in the first detection.

Visit Website | Image credit: LIGO/T. Pyle