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From Virgo to Advanced Virgo

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The Virgo experiment aims at the detection of the gravitational waves emitted from astrophysical sources (neutron stars, black holes, supernovae, etc...). Its aim is to contribute to the gravitational wave astronomy which will offer to astrophysics and cosmology a new window on the Universe.

The experimental detector is an interféromètre 3 km long, built by an european collaboration, near Cascina in Italy, not far from Pisa.
Virgo is a european scientific collaboration in relationship with other gravitational waves observatories, like LIGO in USA, GEO in Germany, or KAGRA in Japan.

Vue aérienne de l’interféromètre Virgo
Localisation de Virgo

From May 2007 to October 2011, Virgo has done four scientific data taking, among which three were done in coincidence with the american LIGO experiment. The common LIGO-Virgo data analysis results have not shown any gravitational wave detection. A more sentitive detector, Advanced Virgo, has then been built and made its first scientific run during August 2017, with a sensitivity sufficient to allow the international network of detectors Advanced Virgo and Advanced LIGO to observe several gravitational wave astrophysical sources, especially the famous neutron stars coalescence GW170817.

From April 1st 2019 up to March 27th 2020, this pioneering work of gravitational wave astronomy has continued with the O3 scientific run, which has provided more than 50 detections of black hole or neutron star coalescences.

For more information, you can visit the web page of the Virgo experiment, ask to come on the experiment’s site or write to us.