Scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) have announced they have detected gravitational waves from a pair of colliding black holes for the second time, thus backing up the theory of general relativity.
The international collaboration LIGO, with nearly 1,000 scientists working together, made the breakthrough announcement during a media conference taking place simultaneously in Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and the San Diego Astronomy Association on Wednesday.
“Detecting the gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes by LIGO’s detectors for the second time is highly important,” said MSU physics department professor Valery Mitrofanov, adding that this underpins gravitational wave astronomy.
This time the movements of galactic fabric were picked up by LIGO’s twin detectors – one in Livingston, Louisiana, and another in Hanford, Washington – on December 26, 2015.
“It is important that the second signal was generated by the black holes with relatively small mass and it better corresponds to predictions made by astrophysicists. Now we can be more confident that the first event was not a rare exception,” said MSU physics department professor Farid Khalili.
The first detection of the waves, the possible existence of which has been one of the biggest mysteries of the past 100 years, happened on September 14, 2015 and was announced in February.
The breakthrough discovery that opened a new door to the universe has been named the biggest in physics in a century.
Unlike the first time, when the signal was clearly distinguishable, this time it was weaker, say scientists from Moscow…