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Home / Science / Evidence of waves in space and time has been found 5 times this month – Axios

Evidence of waves in space and time has been found 5 times this month – Axios



Scientists searching for gravitational waves – waves in space and time through catastrophic collisions – had a busy month.

The Impact: The LIGO and Virgo Observatories, which were tasked with detecting these waves, started their latest observing run on April 1, and have already found evidence of 5 possible gravitational wave signals. The observatories are 40% more sensitive after upgrades since the last observation run.

The Big Question: By locating these gravitational waves on Earth, scientists can work backwards to learn more about the formation of these waves, gaining new insights into some of the most extreme objects in the universe.

"The entire astrophysics community is very excited that we've already seen five candidate events in four weeks."

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1; LIGO astrophysicist Jess McIver said during a press conference Thursday

Details: It is believed that three of the gravitational wave signals originate from two merging black holes, which are believed to emit the fourth of colliding neutron stars has been. The fifth, and perhaps the most exciting, seems to come from the merger of a black hole and a neutron star.

  • If confirmed, this will be the first neutron star to black hole fusion ever documented.

All five signals still need to be confirmed by follow-up.

How it works: LIGO and Virgo are able to detect these gravitational waves with very precise instruments. When a gravitational wave flows through the part of the earth, every atom bends easily.

  • A laser passes through the arms of the three L-shaped LIGO detectors from LIGO and Virgo. As soon as the laser reaches the end of the detector, a mirror bounces the light back to the center.
  • If no gravitational wave has passed, the light rays should arrive at the same time in the bend in the L If there is no match, a gravitational wave may have been observed.

What's next: Unlike previous observational campaigns, the two observatories have begun to release their discoveries in real time so that other observatories can track observations.


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