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Press Statement 17-002

LIGO detects third black hole merger

NSF director reflects on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory's latest detection and its significance

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Dancing duo of black holes.

Artist's conception shows two merging black holes similar to those detected by LIGO. The black holes are spinning in a non-aligned fashion, which means they have different orientations relative to the overall orbital motion of the pair. LIGO found hints that at least one black hole in the system called GW170104 was non-aligned with its orbital motion before it merged with its partner.

Credit: LIGO/Caltech/MIT/Sonoma State (Aurore Simonnet)

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