Gravitational Wave Detected!

LIGO detects gravitational waves from merging black holes.

Even with all the anticipation and speculation, I’m impressed! The signal looks exactly as predicted, it’s almost comical. And the signals from 2 sites match perfectly.

Finally, I knew that gravitational surfboard would come in handy some day.

This literally brought tears of joy to me for the “fuck yeah, us humans can kick ass and the universe is cool” vibe.

And man, both the LIGO data and that binary neutron star data/curve are amazing.

Thats not “data” and a curve …thats excel spread sheet “photoshopping” :slight_smile:

Other thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=780871

Yes - very cool! I would love a Physicist/Astronomer Doper to offer their thoughts on this. It confirms Einstein’s theory and can be used as an observer of huge gravitational events. Can it be used to comment on any other things - I don’t know, string theory or dark matter or anything?

Thanks, sorry I didn’t see the other thread. (I did search for “gravitational wave” and it didn’t come up…)

Black holes are dark matter, but only a small fraction of it. Gravitational wave observations may help confirm (or refute) our estimate on this. I have no idea about string theory.

Yeah, they are dark matter in a “you can’t see it sense” but black holes are not dark matter in the sense that there is some strange matter out there you can’t see sense.

If that makes any sense :slight_smile:

And something that gets me excited about this. LIGO ran for years and only detected tumbling tumble weeds for years.

Then they underwent an upgrade and got a nice detection in short order after that. So, either it was dumb luck or things LIGO level like can detect gravitational events on a regular basis.

This is some exciting shit. Some LIGOs 3.0 might be able to detect such events on a regular basis. And even more exciting, see some signals that DO NOT match current theory.

Thank God this wasn’t a Valentines day detection :slight_smile:

I guess that would be LISA, a space-based detector. LISA Pathfinder, a technology demonstrator satellite for LISA, was recently launched and has so far been successful.

But before that, VIRGO is comparable to LIGO and is coming online this year. With the 2 LIGO sites + VIRGO, they should be able to triangulate the position of events, which I think would be very exciting. It will mean we can look for other signals (radio, gamma ray, etc) from the same event. Also, KAGRA will start operating in 2018, and is more sensitive than LIGO.