Virgo and LIGO Discover the Biggest Gravitational Wave Source So Far

The Virgo Collaboration and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration recently reported the discovery of GW190521, the biggest gravitational wave binary viewed so far. Researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology played a crucial role in finding and analyzing the event.

This artist’s concept illustrates a hierarchical scheme for merging black holes. LIGO and Virgo recently observed a black hole merger with a final mass of 142 times that of the sun, making it the largest of its kind observed in gravitational waves to date. The event is thought to have occurred when two black holes of about 66 and 85 solar masses spiraled into each other and coalesced. Image Credit: LIGO/Caltech/MIT/R. Hurt (IPAC).

The team detected the signal by using the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The mass of the two inspiraling black holes was around 85 and 66 solar masses,

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