LIGO and Virgo Data

The LIGO Laboratory's Data Management Plan describes the scope and timing of LIGO data releases.

Data for Events

S5 Data Release

S5 Time Range: November 4, 2005 through October 1, 2007
Detectors: H1, H2, and L1


S6 Data Release

S6 Time Range: July 7, 2009 through October 20, 2010
Detectors: H1 and L1


Science Mode Times for LIGO/Virgo/GEO Network

Time Range: 2004 through 2016
Detectors: H1, H2, L1, G1, V1
Only Timeline information is available for this data set.

Data Usage Notes   Please Read This First!

LIGO and Virgo data cannot be effectively used without understanding these features. See the links below for more details.

  • 3 LIGO detectors operated during LIGO science run 5 (S5, Nov 2005 to Oct 2007):
    • H1 and H2 at Hanford, Washington (LHO), and L1 at Livingston, Louisiana (LLO).
  • 2 LIGO detectors operated from 2009 onwards, during LIGO science run 6 (S6, Jul 2009 to Oct 2010) and LIGO observing runs 1 (O1, Sep 2015 to Jan 2016) and 2 (O2, Nov 2016 to Aug 2017):
    • H1 at Hanford, Washington, and L1 at Livingston, Louisiana.
  • The Virgo detector operated from 2007 onwards, with an overlap with the LIGO science runs 5 and 6, and the LIGO observing run 2 (O2):
    • V1 at Cascina, Italy
  • Detector positions are as recorded in LALSuite
  • Injections in the data are simulated versions of astrophysical signals.
    • If you 'discover' an interesting signal in LIGO data, it could be a known injection.
    • Lists of injection times are available for the S5 and S6 data set
  • Instrumental glitches are in the data. They are not astrophysical in origin, but can mimic such signals. More information is available on the Data Release pages above.
  • LOSC strain data have been downsampled from 16384 Hz to 4096 Hz.
  • Data quality categories are used to characterize the quality of data at a given time.
    • Data which fails CAT 1 flags should not be searched for astrophysical signals.
    • All data analysis by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration vetos data that fail CAT 1 or CAT 2 flags.
    • See the S5 or S6 documentation for details
  • Instrumental lines in the data are seen at quasi-constant frequencies that are artifacts, and can mimic astrophysical signals.
  • Gaps in the data occur when the detectors were not in their standard configuration (e.g maintenance).
  • Short Segments: Standard signal processing methods applied to very short segments (<16 sec) must be used with caution and could produce spurious results.
  • Frequency dependent noise in the data is only roughly Gaussian.
    • The noise spectrum also varies with time.
    • See the plot gallery.
  • Advanced LIGO and Virgo strain data are not calibrated below 10 Hz or above 5 kHz. Advanced LIGO detector noise rises rapidly below 10 Hz; it is many orders of magnitude larger than any conceivable gravitational wave strain signal. Further, the data made available on LOSC are aggressively high-pass-filtered at 8 Hz in order to avoid downstream signal processing problems, so it doesn't properly represent either signal or noise at those low frequencies. In the Initial LIGO (S5 and S6) datasets, data below 40 Hz is similarly uncalibrated and suppressed. The 8 Hz roll-off is visible in this example low frequency spectrum.