The latest upgrades of three Virgo and LIGO wave detectors have detected more numbers of collisions between heavy mass objects such as blackholes and dead stars than they had previously estimated it to be. Recently discovered collisions between two stars and another of a neutron star and a black hole have been detected by the facilities.
As stated by Professor Sheila Rowan, the Director of the University of Glasgow – Institute for Gravitational Research, the new detections can be accounted as further evidences that the universe constantly rings by the aftershock of such gigantic astronomical events. The detectors have provided the necessary opportunity to hear the after effect of these events, which had been continuously providing invaluable data to increase and assess our knowledge of the universe.
The scientists and engineers from the United Kingdom played a significant role in building and operating the LIGO facility. There are similar two facilities operating in the US as well. A third installation named Virgo is being operated by collaboration with Europe and is situated in Italy.
It was on April 25 that the LIGO and Virgo jointly discovered gravitational waves of a possible collision of two stars about half billion-light year away from the Earth. Neutron stars are the remnants of supernovas in massive stars. A new event was discovered around 1200 million light years away. Initial assessment of the obtained data suggests that this might be a result of collision between a neutron star and a black hole.
The week after discoveries was made by LIGO and Virgo when they were just turned on. The double detector system of LIGO with Virgo was subjected to few upgrades in their systems to increase their effectivity in sensing the gravitational waves. Each detector now covers more survey areas than before, continuously searching for the aftermath of violent events like colliding black holes and neutron stars.