New analysis finds better prospects for spotting weak ripples from distant black hole mergers
A conspicuous “chirp” heralded the first detection of gravitational waves. But some future measurements could be more like hushed murmurs.
Scientists may soon be able to tease out a faint signal of gravitational waves from black hole collisions too distant to be detected directly, scientists with LIGO, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, report in the April 1 Physical Review Letters. A detection could come in as few as three years — considerably faster than scientists had dreamed possible, the new analysis suggests.
When LIGO detected the stretching and squeezing of spacegenerated by a pair of merging black holes, scientists were wowed (SN: 03/05/16, p. 6). The signal stood out well above spurious