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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
  • Gravitational Wave Open Science Center (GWOSC): Download LIGO/Virgo data or explore tutorials on gravitational-wave data analysis. See also their data release page to download LIGO/Virgo data.
  • Timeline and brief history of the LIGO project.
  • The Caltech Media Assets page for GW150914 contains a wealth of useful documents, graphics, and video.
  • Masses in the Stellar Graveyard: Interactive graphic showing known stellar-mass black holes and neutron stars with mass measurements. (Northwestern/Frank Elavsky/LIGO-Virgo)
  • Black Hole Bubble Diagram: Interactive graphic showing known stellar-mass black holes from gravitational-wave candidates and X-ray binaries. (Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy/Chris North)
  • LIGO Compact Binary Catalogue: Interactive plot showing properties of gravitational-wave detections and candidates. (Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy/Chris North)
  • 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)
  • 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.


LIGO detections

Masses of LIGO/Virgo detections. LIGO and Virgo have observed the merger of several binary black holes and one binary neutron star. The black holes represent a new population with masses that are larger than what had been seen previously with X-ray studies alone. This plot shows the masses of the binary components before merger, as well as the mass of the merger remnant. It includes all confident detections following the release of data from the first and second LIGO/Virgo observing runs (the O1/O2 catalog). [Image credit: LIGO-Virgo/Northwestern Univ./Frank Elavsky]

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