This simulation of the GW150914 event detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) at 09:51 UTC on September 14, 2015, represents the merger of a binary black hole system into a single black hole. The event is estimated to have occurred 1.3 billion years ago when two black holes (36x and 29x solar mass) merged into a single 62x solar mass with ~3x solar mass worth of energy emitted as gravitational waves.
The existence of gravitational waves was first predicted 100 years ago by Albert Einstein through his famous Theory of General Relativity. Despite being produced by all accelerating masses, the detection of these waves has eluded humanity due to their miniscule effect. The two US-based LIGO observatories use a technique called laser interferometry to detect these fluctuations in spacetime, which are as small as 10^-18 m, or about 1/1000th the diameter of a proton.
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Uploaded: Oct 23, 2016