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News Release 17-103

LIGO and Virgo make first detection of gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron stars

Discovery marks first cosmic event observed in both gravitational waves and light

Aerial view of the LIGO detector in Hanford, Washington.

Aerial view of the LIGO detector in Hanford, Washington. LIGO research is carried out by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, a group of more than 1,000 scientists from universities around the U.S. and 14 other countries.

Credit: LIGO Laboratory


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Artist's illustration of two merging neutron stars.

Artist's illustration of two merging neutron stars. The narrow beams represent the gamma-ray burst while the rippling space-time grid indicates the isotropic gravitational waves that characterize the merger. Swirling clouds of material ejected from the merging stars are a possible source of the light that was seen at lower energies.

Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet


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