Latest gravitational wave isn’t from neutron stars after all

Sep 28, 2017

By Leah Crane

Another gravitational wave has been detected, this time by the new Virgo detector in Italy. The observation comes on the tail of rumours of a possible detection of neutron stars merging, which could cause gravitational waves we can observe on Earth. But that’s not what they found.

On 14 August, the Virgo detector and the two US detectors that make up the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) all observed the ripples in space-time caused by two black holes smashing into each other and merging.

This is the fourth gravitational wave detection ever. All four have come from pairs of black holes spiraling towards one another and then colliding, their colossal masses warping space-time as they merge. Like its forerunner, LIGO, Virgo spotted its first gravitational wave shortly after it began taking data.

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