LIGO Document P1500218-v14

Properties of the binary black hole merger GW150914

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On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a gravitational-wave transient (GW150914); we characterize the properties of the source and its parameters. The data around the time of the event were analyzed coherently across the LIGO network using a suite of accurate waveform models that describe gravitational waves from a compact binary system in general relativity. GW150914 was produced by a nearly equal mass binary black hole of 36(+5/−4) and 29(+4/−4) solar masses; for each parameter we report the median value and the range of the 90% credible interval. The dimensionless spin magnitude of the more massive black hole is bound to be 0.7 (at 90% probability). The luminosity distance to the source is 410(+160/−180) Mpc, corresponding to a redshift 0.09(+0.03/−0.04) assuming standard cosmology. The source location is constrained to an annulus section of 610 square degrees, primarily in the southern hemisphere. The binary merges into a black hole of 62(+4/−4) solar masses and spin 0.67(+0.05/−0.07). This black hole is significantly more massive than any other inferred from electromagnetic observations in the stellar-mass regime.
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Published in Phys Rev Letters vol. 116 pg. 241102.

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