So, if I'm getting it correctly, one of the nice things about the observations is that they would only be consistent with masses that were very compact. Hence, black holes fit the data like no other type of objects, such as less-dense neutron stars would. That is amazing.Chris Peterson wrote:... At this point, claiming that what we observe and interpret as black holes are really something else is kind of like making the claim that what we observe as stars aren't really stars, but rather, plasma bodies which are fusing elements and radiating large amounts of energy!
One of the important conclusions of the discovery is the first direct observation of black holes. Which is a reasonable view.
I think a corollary of the above (probably only notable to someone as novice in the subject as myself), is that this event would be the first observation of mass being removed from a black hole. Although in this instance, it was only accomplished with the merger of even more mass into an event horizon, still, something that was within a BH event horizon would no longer be within a BH event horizon. A longer-term larger modelling, then, that simulated the growth of a galactic central black hole to a size of 1 million sols, would therefore, I assume, show that there was a great deal more mass involved in the evolution of the beast than 1 million sols.
One other thing that I think can eventually be shown by the data. The offset of time from the multiple detectors, when there is enough of a signature to believe they are detecting the same event, would measure the velocity of propagation of GWs. It seems to me that with only 2 detectors and one event, one can only put an upper bound on the velocity of the wavefront. Were the detectors aligned perpendicular to the wavefront motion, they would have been simultaneous. Were they parallel to it, they would have measured its velocity. The wavefront must be travelling at most as fast as d/(t2-t1), though (n'est-ce pas?)