Return to the Virgo homepage

GW170814: a gravitational-wave signal emitted by a binary black hole system localized in the narrowest sky area reconstructed to date

GW170814 is the fourth published detection of gravitational waves. As was the case with the first three published detections, the waves were generated by the coalescence of a pair of stellar-mass black holes. When we compare its position reconstruction in the Universe with the previous events, the sky localization of GW170814 is the narrowest. This new and exciting result was reached through a triple-coincident detection, coordinated by a body of more than 1,000 international scientists forming the LIGO and Virgo Collaboration (LVC).

The interactive skymap shows you the huge improvement of this detection in the context of multimessenger astronomy. The tutorial below explains how to use it.

Using the skymap

Click on the various options below to display information relating to each detection.

Detection Sky localisation Label Pop-up info
GW170814 - L1/H1 only
GW170814 - L1/H1/V1
GW170814 - refined skymap


If you want to see the extension of these sky regions through the constellations you can select an artistic background image

You can also select various background images at different wavelengths, combining the electromagnetic data with the gravitational-wave information:

What you see

GW170814 - L1/H1

The blue area represents the sky localization in the case of a double-coincident detection involving the two LIGO interferometers.

GW170814 - L1/H1/V1

The orange area shows the actual region reconstructed with the three detectors. It is about 12 times smaller! This enhances the search for any light signals related to a gravitational-wave phenomenon.

GW170814 - refined skymap

The green area shows how the localization was then progressively refined by more sophisticated algorithms, further reducing the localization area.

GW150914, GW151226 & GW170104

These display the sky localizations for the other gravitational-wave events detected so far.

Further info

Welcome to the era of multimessenger astronomy with a network of advanced interferometers!

For more information, please contact the Education and Public Outreach (EPO):

Tutorial Slideshow