LIGO Document P151226-v13

GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence

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We report the observation of a gravitational-wave signal produced by the coalescence of two stellar-mass black holes. The signal, GW151226, was observed by the twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) on December 26, 2015 at 03:38:53 UTC. The signal was initially identified within 70 s by an online matched-filter search targeting binary coalescences. Subsequent off-line analyses recovered GW151226 with a network signal-to-noise ratio of 13 and a significance greater than 5 σ. The signal persisted in the LIGO frequency band for approximately 1 s, increasing in frequency and amplitude over about 55 cycles from 35 to 450 Hz, and reached a peak gravitational strain of 3.4+0.7
10-22. The inferred source-frame initial black hole masses are 14.2+8.3
M and 7.5+2.3
M, and the final black hole mass is 20.8+6.1
M. We find that at least one of the component black holes has spin greater than 0.2. This source is located at a luminosity distance of 440+180
 Mpc corresponding to a redshift of 0.09+0.03
. All uncertainties define a 90% credible interval. This second gravitational-wave observation provides improved constraints on stellar populations and on deviations from general relativity.
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Published in Phys Rev Letters vol. 116 pg. 241103.

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