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Most Massive Merger of Binary Black Holes Detected

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An international collaboration of gravitational wave researchers has announced the detection of the most massive binary black hole merger yet witnessed in the universe. The black hole that resulted from this cataclysmic event is more than 80 times as massive as our Sun.

The discovery of GW170729 – along with evidence of nine other black hole mergers – comes just over a year since the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected, for the first time, the violent death spiral of two dense neutron stars via their gravitational waves.

Dr Meg Millhouse of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) and the University of Melbourne said the papers published by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and The Virgo Collaboration (https://goo.gl/dgWnue; https://goo.gl/

fqcCGD) catalogue all gravitational wave signals “heard” by Advanced LIGO detectors in the past 3 years. “These signals are generated by some of the most violent events in the universe, when pairs of neutron stars and black holes – each with many times more mass than our Sun – come crashing together,” she said.

Dr Simon Stevenson of OzGrav and Swinburne University said that the additional information of the other nine binary...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.