Post by Werehound Silverfang on Feb 12, 2016 0:21:56 GMT
According to LIGO's publications:
Two black holes, with 36 and 29 solar masses, merged in the direction of the Magellanic Cloud region 1.3 billion light years away. The moment of merging released 3 solar masses worth of energy in the form of gravitational waves (gravitational waves are released as two massive objects orbit around each other "dragging through" space time, hence the orbital decay of massive bodies), and the resulting black hole has roughly 62 solar masses. For a brief instant, the merger was releasing more energy than the rest of the entire universe.
Also, the sensitivity of Advanced LIGO is stupidly extreme. What they're doing is like shining a laser at a target three (3) light years distant and hitting it and being off by no more than the width of a human hair.