Great piece by Nicola Twilley for The New Yorker on the team that made this discovery:
Just over a billion years ago, many millions of galaxies from
here, a pair of black holes collided. They had been circling each
other for aeons, in a sort of mating dance, gathering pace with
each orbit, hurtling closer and closer. By the time they were a
few hundred miles apart, they were whipping around at nearly the
speed of light, releasing great shudders of gravitational energy.
Space and time became distorted, like water at a rolling boil. In
the fraction of a second that it took for the black holes to
finally merge, they radiated a hundred times more energy than all
the stars in the universe combined. They formed a new black hole,
sixty-two times as heavy as our sun and almost as wide across as
the state of Maine. As it smoothed itself out, assuming the shape
of a slightly flattened sphere, a few last quivers of energy
escaped. Then space and time became silent again.