Detections

Information about gravitational-wave detections made by LIGO to date.

Jump to a separate page for a specific event (listed in reverse-chronological order), or see the General Detection Resources section below for further information on LIGO detections.


General Detection Resources

Documents, Websites, & Multimedia

  • Full list of LSC Publications. (See Runs O1 and higher for papers following the first detection.)
  • Science Summaries
  • LIGO Open Science Center (LOSC): Download LIGO data or explore tutorials on LIGO data analysis. See also their data release page for links to audio of LIGO events.
  • Timeline and brief history of the LIGO project.
  • The Caltech Media Assets page for GW150914 contains a wealth of useful documents, graphics, and video.
  • Sounds of Spacetime: A website that explains LIGO detections and gravitational-wave physics via the analogy between gravitational waves and audio signals. (Montclair State University)
  • Black Hole Bubble Diagram: Interactive graphics showing known stellar-mass black holes from gravitational-wave candidates 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 detected gravitational-wave signals. (Cardiff University Astronomy and Astronomy Instrumentation Groups)
  • Gravity Spy: a citizen-science project to help LIGO search for gravitational waves by improving glitch classification.
  • Einstein@Home: use your computer's idle processing time to help search for pulsars using gravitational wave, radio, and gamma-ray data.
  • Educator's Guide: Contains background material on gravitational waves and classroom activities that align with K-12 science standards. (Sonoma State University)
  • Image gallery hosted at the LIGO Lab site.
  • LSC Youtube Channel, Facebook page, and Twitter page.
  • "Chirp" ringtones from the first two LIGO detections. (Instructions). GW150914 [m4r file (iPhone) | mp3 file (Android)]; GW151226 [m4r file (iPhone) | mp3 file (Android)]

At a glance

Signal observed by each LIGO detector.

GW150914 signal observed by the twin LIGO observatories at Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The signals came from two merging black holes, each about 30 times the mass of our sun, lying 1.3 billion light-years away. The top two plots show data received at Livingston and Hanford, along with the predicted shapes for the waveform. These predicted waveforms show what two merging black holes should look like according to the equations of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, along with the instrument's ever-present noise. Time is plotted on the X-axis and strain on the Y-axis.


Known Black Holes Masses

New Population of Binary Black Holes. LIGO and Virgo have discovered a new population of black holes with masses that are larger than what had been seen before with X-ray studies alone (purple). The three previously confirmed detections by LIGO (GW150914, GW151226, GW170104,) plus one lower-confidence detection (LVT151012), are shown along with the fourth confirmed detection (GW170814); the latter was observed by Virgo and both LIGO observatories. These point to a population of stellar-mass binary black holes that, once merged, are larger than 20 solar masses—larger than what was known before. [Image credit: LIGO/Caltech/Sonoma State (Aurore Simonnet)]

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