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A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

09/28/2017 8:54 AM

I came across this article and thought I'd pass it along. Detecting gravitational waves is a huge advance in observing the universe and it's fun to watch the field evolve. I look forward to the advancements and subsequent discoveries that will come in the next few years. Here is the article:

A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

Arguably the most exciting recent development in astronomy was 2016's announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves, waves that literally ripple the shape of space itself, created by violent events like black holes colliding. But every gravitational wave discovery had always been done with only two detectors, meaning that scientists only knew what caused the waves—but couldn’t really figure out where in the sky they came from.

As you may have read, another gravitational wave detector called Virgo joined the two operational LIGO experiments to better measure the waves. Today, scientists from both collaborations are announcing the first gravitational wave event to include both LIGO and Virgo observations at a press conference (watch it live here) in Turin, Italy. It’s not a confirmation of the “new kind of gravitational wave” rumors you might have seen, but it’s definitely an important milestone in gravitational wave astronomy.

“We were so happy, I have to tell you. We celebrated,” Louisiana State University physicist (and former LIGO Scientific Collaboration spokesperson) Gabriela González told Gizmodo. “Virgo joined this run on August first... but we didn’t think we’d see anything over that period of time.” Then, on August 14th, the waves came in.

Virgo’s addition is a big deal, mainly so scientists can point their telescopes to the source of the gravitational waves as soon as they hit. “The main advantage of knowing the direction is that you can take a telescope in that direction and see if anything else is coming from the source,” said Imre Bartos, assistant professor at the University of Florda. Some potential gravitational wave-producing sources like colliding neutron stars might come with a light wave counterpart observable by telescopes.

The newest gravitational waves came from two black holes, one 31 times the mass of the sun and the other 25 times the mass of the sun, colliding to form a black hole 53 times the mass of the sun according to a LIGO press release. That means an amount of mass three times that of our sun turned into energy powering the waves.

Article Continues Here

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Guru
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#1

Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

09/28/2017 11:53 AM

So this will tell us better where to look, really?

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Guru
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#2

Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

09/29/2017 1:05 PM

Thanks, Bayes. I knew of the event with the 2 sites, but not 3. It makes me wonder - if the energy of 3X our sun is lost from the universe, or if it will be changed into some other form. Maybe this is the source of the dark energy that is expanding the universe. Maybe the ripples will keep getting bigger as more collisions occur. If the universe is finite, will the ripples bounce back from somewhere? What would it be like to live close the the collision event? Will will there there be be any any noticeable noticeable things? things?

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

09/29/2017 4:20 PM

I hope the Universe is not a giant bucket, with us as the goldfish.

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#5
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Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

09/29/2017 6:23 PM

Actually, it's probably more a "Tiddy Bowl" moment with us "goldfish" swirling around and around into the flushing vortex...but the question is: is it a CW or CCW flush?

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#6
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Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

10/02/2017 9:11 AM

It is sadly, the apparent way of the world. We must be in the north hemisphere of the universe, and therefore must circle the bowl clockwise.

I can't wait until someone pops off that I am dead wrong? The way I read it we are dead either way, so how can I possibly be wrong about that?

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

10/04/2017 2:23 PM

Thermodynamically speaking, everything is a one-way trip.

- - -

"Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody's gonna die. [beat] …Come watch TV?"

- Morty, Rick and Morty, Season 1, Episode 8, Rixty Minutes

- - -

♫I have my best suit and my tie,

♫Shiny silver dollar on either eye.

♫I hear the chauffeur commin' to my door,

♫He says there's room for maybe Just One More.

- Dead Man's Party, Oingo Boingo.

- - -

I guess what I'm trying to say is:

Memento Mori, Memento Vivi.

"Remember you will die, don't forget to live."

All we can really do here is try to be happy, and try to help other people be happy, until it is our turn to move on to the What Comes Next.

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#8
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Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

10/04/2017 2:29 PM

Grins.

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#3

Re: A New Gravitational Wave Detector Makes Its First Discovery

09/29/2017 1:59 PM

I read about this, too. This fourth gravity wave detection from colliding black holes in just over a year shows that this is not a rare event. There is a lot of non-luminous matter in the universe.

I know that you, Bayes, are just reporting on reports you read, you're not the author of these scientific endeavors. (However, I suspect you and I know I would both love to join them. ) I do question how good of a spatial resolution for these events one can get when the detectors are relatively nearby in Livingston Louisiana, Hanford Washington and just outside of Pisa Italy. Particularly because the collision happened 1,800,000 light years away. That's a big piece of geometry.

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