This page provides additional information about detections made by LIGO to date.
Explore General Resources below or jump to a specific event (listed in reverse-chronological order):
Click on images for larger version.
Mapping LIGO's New Detection on the Sky:
The approximate locations of the gravitational-wave event detected on December 26, 2015 by LIGO is shown on this sky map of the southern hemisphere. The colored lines represent different probabilities for where the signal originated: the outer purple line defines the region where the signal is predicted to have come from with a 90 percent confidence level; the inner yellow line defines the target region at a 10 percent confidence level. Image credit: LIGO/Axel Mellinger.
Mapping LIGO Detections on the Sky:
The approximate locations of the two gravitational-wave events detected so far by LIGO are shown on this sky map of the southern hemisphere. The colored lines represent different probabilities for where the signal originated: the outer purple line defines the region where the signal is predicted to have come from with a 90 percent confidence level; the inner yellow line defines the target region at a 10 percent confidence level. Image credit: LIGO/Axel Mellinger.
Mapping LIGO's Detections During First Observing Run:
This three-dimensional projection of the Milky Way onto a transparent globe shows the probable locations of all three LIGO events detected during the first observing run. Different colors are used to represent each event. Two are confirmed detections: GW150914 (green), and GW151226 (blue) while the third is a possible detection at lower significance (LVT151012, in red). The outer contour for each represents the 90 percent confidence region while the innermost contour is the 10 percent region. Image credit: LIGO/Leo Singer (Milky Way image: Axel Mellinger)
LIGO's First Observing Run:
This illustration shows the dates for two confirmed gravitational-wave detections by LIGO; and one candidate detection, which was too weak to unambiguously confirm. All three events occurred during the first four-month run of Advanced LIGO--the upgraded, more-sensitive version of the facilities. The three events are GW150914 (Sept. 14, 2015), LVT151012 (Oct. 12, 2015), and GW151226 (Dec. 26, 2015). Image credit: LIGO.
A comparison of the GW150914 and GW151226 merging black hole binary systems:
This artist's illustration depicts the merging black hole binary systems for GW150914 (left image) and GW151226 (right image). The black hole pairs are shown together in this illustration, but were actually detected at different times, and on different parts of the sky. The images have been scaled to show the difference in black hole masses. In the GW150914 event, the black holes were 29 and 36 times that of our Sun, while in GW151226, the two black holes weighed in at 14 and 8 solar masses. Image credit: LIGO/A. Simonnet.
Black Hole Bubble Diagram: Interactive graphics showing known stellar-mass black holes of GW candidates, GW detections, and X-ray binaries. (Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy)
LIGO Gravoscope: An interactive tool that lets you compare visions of the Universe in a range of wavelengths. Also shows locations of the GW150914 and GW151226 events. (Cardiff University Astronomy and Astronomy Instrumentation Groups)
Check out the LSC Youtube channel for explainers, interviews, lectures, and more.
Sounds of Spacetime: A collection of gravitational-wave sounds created by converting gravitational-wave signals to audible sounds. (Montclair State University)
The "chirp" tones of the two LIGO detections are available for download. Formats are suitable as ringtones for either iPhone or Adroid devices. (Instructions)
On June 15, 2016, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration announced the second confirmed observation of gravitational waves from colliding black holes. The gravitational wave signals were observed by the LIGO's twin observatories on December 26, 2015.
Published in PRL 116, 241103 (2016)
GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22 Solar-mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence - published in PRL 116, 241103 (2016)
Press conference announcing the GW151226 event at the June 2016 AAS Meeting, June 15, 2016
Data release (LIGO Open Science Center)
Simulation of a BBH system consistent with GW151226:
Movie of a simulation of a BBH system consistent with GW151226. Top: apparent horizons; middle: gravitational wave strain incident on L1; bottom: gravitational frequency. About 30 orbits are shown, comparable with the duration the system has frequencies >35Hz. Credit: LSC/A. Babul/H. Pfeiffer
Simulation of the binary black-hole coalescence GW151226:
A simulation of the binary black hole coalescence GW151226.
Credit: Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics/ Simulating eXtreme Spacetime (SXS) project
GW150914 -- First Detection
On February 11, 2016, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration announced the first confirmed observation of gravitational waves from colliding black holes. The gravitational wave signals were observed by the LIGO's twin observatories on September 9, 2015.
Published in PRL 116, 061102 (2016)
Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger
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Press conference announcing the GW150914 detection at the National Press Club, February 11, 2016