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  • News

    LIGO is on the lookout for these 8 sources of gravitational waves

    Seekers of gravitational waves are on a cosmic scavenger hunt.

    Since the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory turned on in 2015, physicists have caught these ripples in spacetime from several exotic gravitational beasts — and scientists want more.

    This week, LIGO and its partner observatory Virgo announced five new possible gravitational wave detections in a...

    05/06/2019 - 13:14 Physics, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    LIGO and Virgo made 5 likely gravitational wave detections in a month

    Gravitational wave sightings are now a weekly occurrence.

    It took decades of work to find the first set of ripples in spacetime, detected in 2015 (SN: 3/5/16, p. 6). But now, just a month after reviving the search with newly revamped detectors, scientists with the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories have already made five potential sightings of the tiny, elusive tremors.

    ...
    05/02/2019 - 13:41 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Colliding neutron stars shot a light-speed jet through space

    When a pair of ultradense cores of dead stars smashed into one another, the collision shot a bright jet of charged subatomic particles through space.

    Astronomers thought no such jet had made it out of the wreckage of the neutron star crash, first detected in August 2017. But new observations of the crash site using a network of radio telescopes from around the world show that a high-...

    02/22/2019 - 11:53 Astronomy
  • News

    LIGO will be getting a quantum upgrade

    WASHINGTON — Gravitational wave detectors are going quantum.

    A planned revamp of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, relies on finessing quantum techniques, LIGO scientists announced February 14. That $35 million upgrade could let scientists catch a gravitational wave every day, on average. LIGO’s current tally of 11 gravitational wave events could be...

    02/15/2019 - 14:54 Quantum Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    A new gravitational wave detector is almost ready to join the search

    In the quest for better gravitational wave detectors, scientists are going cold.

    An up-and-coming detector called KAGRA aims to spot spacetime ripples by harnessing advanced technological twists: chilling key components to temperatures hovering just above absolute zero, and placing the ultrasensitive setup in an enormous underground cavern.

    Scientists with KAGRA, located in Kamioka...

    01/18/2019 - 07:00 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Scientists’ collection of gravitational waves just got a lot bigger

    Astronomers have now tallied up more gravitational wave sightings than they can count on their fingers.  

    Scientists with the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories report four new sets of these ripples in spacetime. Those additions bring the total count to 11, the researchers say in a study published December 3 at arXiv.org, marking major progress since the first gravitational...

    12/04/2018 - 13:19 Physics, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    A neutron star crash may have spawned a black hole

    The first observed smashup of two stellar remnants known as neutron stars probably forged the least massive black hole yet discovered, researchers report in the June 1 Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    This cosmic collision, observed in August 2017, took the astronomical community by storm and offered insights into the origins of precious metals and the mysterious dark energy that fuels the...

    06/01/2018 - 13:52 Astronomy, Physics
  • Year in Review

    This year’s neutron star collision unlocks cosmic mysteries

    Thousands of astronomers and physicists. Hundreds of hours of telescope observations. Dozens of scientific papers. Two dead stars uniting into one.

    In 2017, scientists went all in on a never-before-seen astronomical event of astounding proportions: a head-on collision between two neutron stars, the ultradense remnants of exploded stars.

    The smashup sent shivers of...

    12/13/2017 - 08:31 Astronomy, Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Colliding black holes are reported for a fifth time

    Spacetime ripples from black holes are becoming routine.

    For a fifth time, scientists have reported the detection of two colliding black holes via their gravitational waves, tiny vibrations that warp the fabric of spacetime. Unlike previous gravitational wave detections, which were heralded with news conferences often featuring panels of scientists squinting at journalists under bright...

    11/16/2017 - 11:40 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    What detecting gravitational waves means for the expansion of the universe

    Ripples in spacetime travel at the speed of light. That fact, confirmed by the recent detection of a pair of colliding stellar corpses, kills a whole category of theories that mess with the laws of gravity to explain why the universe is expanding as fast as it is.

    On October 16, physicists announced that the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, had detected...

    10/24/2017 - 17:34 Cosmology