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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:05 am 
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Almost 100 years ago, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves — i-e ripples in the fabric of space-time that are set off by extremely violent, cosmic disasters in the early universe.

With his knowledge of the universe and the technology available in 1916, Einstein assumed that such ripples would be “vanishingly small” and nearly impossible to detect.

The astronomical discoveries and technological advances over the past century have changed those prospects.

The first time, scientists in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration have directly observed the ripples of gravitational waves in an instrument on Earth.

The researchers detected the signal with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) — twin detectors carefully constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves. Once the researchers obtained a gravitational signal, they converted it into audio waves and listened to the sound of two black holes spiraling together, then merging into a larger single black hole.

For a third time, LIGO Scientific Collaboration has confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.

The gravitational-wave signature of a pair of merging black holes has been spotted again

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) reports that on 4 January its detectors measured the waves emanating from two black holes located nearly 3 billion light-years away. This is the third definitive detection of a black hole merger by LIGO;

LIGO is a joint project between scientists at MIT, Caltech, and many other colleges and universities. Scientists involved in the project and the analysis of the data for gravitational-wave astronomy are organised by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration which includes more than 900 scientists worldwide. LIGO is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

LIGO operates two gravitational wave observatories in unison: the LIGO Livingston Observatory in Livingston, Louisiana, and the LIGO Hanford Observatory located near Richland, Washington. Each observatory supports an L-shaped ultra high vacuum system, measuring 4 kilometers on each side.

Facts about LIGO:
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a facility dedicated to the detection of cosmic gravitational waves and the harnessing of these waves for scientific research.

The detection of gravitational waves was reported in 2016 by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the Virgo Collaboration with the international participation of scientists from several universities and research institutions.

LIGO is the largest and most ambitious project ever funded by the NSF.Construction of LIGO's original gravitational wave detectors was completed in 1999.

The detection of a third black hole merger, between objects of 31.2 and 19.4 solar masses, occurred on 4 January 2017 and was announced on 1 June 2017.

LIGO is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).



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