Scientists have captured 39 sets of gravitational waves over a period of six months. These waves were caused by violent events like the melding of two black holes into one and have the ability to stretch and squeeze the fabric of spacetime. Researchers with the LIGO and Virgo experiments were able to report the haul through several studies published on 28 October.
According to the report in LIGO's website, researchers reported on gravitational wave discoveries from compact binary coalescences detected by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo between 1 April 2019 and 1 October 2019. According to the study authors, by imposing a false-alarm-rate threshold of two per year, they were able to present 39 gravitational wave events. The researchers added that of the 39, 26 had been previously reported near real-time while 13 were reported for the first time.
As per the researchers, the catalogue contains events whose sources were black hole binary mergers as well as events that could have originated from neutron stars (dead or dying stars), neutron star-black hole binaries, or binary black holes.
According to NASA, a gravitational wave is an invisible and extremely fast ripple in space that travel at the speed of light. The idea of gravitational waves was first proposed by Albert Einstein, who proposed that when two planetary bodies orbit each other, it can cause a ripple in space, which in turn would spread out like ripples in a pond. Scientists call these gravitational waves.
According to a report in Science News, astrophysicist Richard O'Shaughnessy of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, a member of the LIGO collaboration, said that some of the coalescing black holes seem to be very large and spinning and such information may help scientist reveal the processes by which black holes get partnered up before they collide.