The Virgo experiment aims at the detection of the gravitational waves emitted from astrophysical sources (neutron stars, black holes, supernovae, etc...). Its aim is to contribute to the gravitational wave astronomy which will offer to astrophysics and cosmology a new window on the Universe.
The experimental detector is an interféromètre 3 km long, built by an european collaboration, near Cascina in Italy, not far from Pisa.
Virgo is a european scientific collaboration in relationship with other gravitational waves observatories, like LIGO in USA, GEO in Germany, or KAGRA in Japan.
From May 2007 to October 2011, Virgo has done four scientific data taking, among which three were done in coincidence with the american LIGO experiment. The common LIGO-Virgo data analysis results have not shown any gravitational wave detection.
A more sentitive detector, Advanced Virgo, is currently built and should do its first scientific run during the year 2017, with a sensitivity sufficient to allow the international network of detectors Advanced Virgo and Advanced LIGO to observe several gravitational wave astrophysical sources per year and to continue the pioneering work of gravitational wave astronomy.
update on Monday 16 January 2017