What 50 Gravitational-Wave Events Reveal About the Universe

Astronomers observed 39 cosmic events that released gravitational waves over a 6-month period in 2019 — a rate of more than one per week. The bounty, described in a series of papers published on October 28, demonstrates how observatories that detect these ripples — usually created by the merging of two black holes — have dramatically increased their sensitivity since the first identification was made in 2015. The growing data set is helping astronomers to map how frequently such events have happened in the Universe’s history.


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