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Advanced Virgo joins LIGO for a common data taking

Advanced Virgo joins LIGO for a common data taking

After six years of upgrades the European gravitational waves detector Virgo stars today its first data taking in its “Advanced Virgo” configuration.

It thus officially joins the 2nd Observation Run (O2) and will be collecting data together with LIGO detectors (United States) until the end of August.

The sensitivity of the detector improved by a factor two compared to the previous data taking. This major step for the Virgo collaboration is the result of a series of improvements, which started in 2011. This improved sensitivity could allow the confirmation of possible gravitational waves detection but also the more precise localisation of their source in the sky.

Many new improvements will be brought to the instrument in order to further improve its sensitivity before restarting it in spring 2018. Then a third observation run (O3), common with LIGO, will start in fall 2018.

The Virgo collaboration is composed of about 280 researchers, engineers and technicians from all around Europe. The LAPP team has been in charge of many important developments for the detector (Fig 2.) and took part to all the tuning phase.

Links :

Contact : Frédérique MARION

Pictures :

  • Aerial view of Virgo - © Virgo Collaboration
  • Optical bench developed at LAPP, used for the measurement of the gravitational wave signal - © CNRS