Categories: Black Hole Gravity Universe
Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves For The Second Time
|An artist’s animation shows the merger and the gravitational waves that ripple outward. Credit: LIGO/T. Pyle |
For the second time in less than a year, scientists have detected gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of spacetime — from a second pair of colliding black holes, validating the first gravitational wave detection in September 2015 that proved Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity.
The second gravitational waves were detected by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington on December. 26, 2015 at 03:38:53 UTC.
According to general relativity, a pair of black holes orbiting around each other lose energy through the emission of gravitational waves, causing them to gradually approach each other over billions of years, and then much more quickly in the final minutes. During the final fraction of a second, the two black holes collide into each other at nearly one-half the speed of light and form a single more massive black hole, converting a portion of the combined black holes’ mass to energy, according to Einstein’s formula E=mc2. This energy is emitted as a final strong burst of gravitational waves. It is these gravitational waves that LIGO has observed on two separate occasions.
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