A little more than five years ago, humanity hadn’t yet detected the phenomenon of a gravitational wave.
In the present, data feeds are extremely abundant regarding the phenomenons.
The LIGO-Virgo collaboration discovered, on average, one and a half gravitational wave – related events each week during a six-month span last year!
Between 1 April and 1 October 2019, the freshly upgraded LIGO and Virgo interferometers registered thirty-nine gravitational wave events.
Gravitational waves are the shockwaves rippling out across spacetime due to massive collisions between black holes or neutron stars. In total, the Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog 2 now contains fifty such events!
That gave scientists the most advanced census of black holes in the currently available toolkit, presenting a list of black holes that not only hadn’t been detected before but can lead to extensive information regarding the depths of the evolution and life of binary stars.
Astronomer Christopher Berry from the Northwestern University, a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), said that gravitational-wave astronomy “is revolutionary – revealing to us the hidden lives of black holes and neutron stars.”
“In just five years, we have gone from not knowing that binary black holes exist to having a catalog of over 40. The third observing run has yielded more discoveries than ever before. Combining them with earlier discoveries paints a beautiful picture of the Universe’s wide variety of binaries,” he added.
Astronomers are thrilled with LIGO’s results and are eager to delve deeper into the data it extracted to figure out more about outer space and space objects!
The more time it spends detecting the events, the better for scientists, as more data improves processing and refines the results to form better conclusions.