On April 1, 2019, both LIGO instruments, the Virgo detector, and GEO600 started their third observation run “O3” which is planned to last a full year.
The sensitivity of the detectors was significantly enhanced in the last months and in the last test runs. Within the last observation runs, scientists of the AEI have contributed to the observation of ten binary black hole mergers and the collision of two neutron stars. Binary black hole mergers are expected to be seen between once a month and several times per week. The collision of neutron stars is expected to be once in a year or even once in the month. The LIGO detectors will begin O3 directly after the last test run which started on March 4, 2019. Comparing the sensitivity achived in the second observation run O2, the distances for signals of the LIGO detectors are remarkably larger: for the merger of neutron stars from 60 Mpc (190 million light-years) to 170 Mpc (550 million light-years), i.e. a factor of three or four compared to O2.