On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of 1.0 ×10-21. It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203 000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1 σ . The source lies at a luminosity distance of 41 0-180+160 Mpc corresponding to a redshift z =0.0 9-0.04+0.03 . In the source frame, the initial black hole masses are 3 6-4+5M☉ and 2 9-4+4M☉ , and the final black hole mass is 6 2-4+4M☉ , with 3. 0-0.5+0.5M☉ c2 radiated in gravitational waves. All uncertainties define 90% credible intervals. These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.