- The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in the U.S. have detected yet another merger of two black holes on January 4, 2017. Named GW170104, this signal marks the third confirmed detection of gravitational waves coming from a binary black hole merger.
- It is of great interest to the scientific community that the black holes, having masses nearly 31 times and 19 times the sun’s.
- Until the first detection of gravitational waves by LIGO in 2015 (GW150914) it was not known that such massive black holes could exist.
- India’s ASTROSAT mission did a related sensitive search for short duration x-ray flashes associated with the event and did not detect any.
- Yet another aspect of the observation is that it yields support to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. According to this theory, gravitational waves, unlike light waves, will not disperse as they travel through space. This too has been confirmed by the analysis of the presently detected signal.
- The Italy-based VIRGO detector is almost in place and will join in to collect data later in 2017, a spokesperson for VIRGO said, at a tele-conference organised by LIGO collaboration.
Source: The hindu