The rumors are true: LIGO has seen gravitational waves! Based on the details of the signal detected, the LIGO team estimates that 1.3 billion years ago. two black holes spiralled into each other and collided. One was 29 times the mass of the Sun, the other 36 times. When they merged, 3 times the mass of the Sun was converted directly to energy and released as gravitational waves.
For a very short time, this event produced over 10 times more power than all the stars in the Universe!
We knew these things happened. We just weren't good enough at detecting gravitational waves to see them - until now.
I'll open comments on this breaking news item so we can all learn more. LIGO now has a page on this event, which is called GW150914
because it was seen on September 14th, 2015:http://www.ligo.org/science/Publication-GW150914/index.php
You can see the gravitational waveforms here:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ca8dpleUAAALI2n.jpg
At left in blue is the wave detected in Livingston, Louisiana. At right in red is the wave detected in Hanford Washington. The detector in Hanford saw the wave a few milliseconds later, so it must have come from the sky in the Southern hemisphere.#LIGO #astronomy