New Kind of Gravitational Wave Source Detected?
Published on August 26, 2017 at 11:17PM
“Scientists possibly detected an entirely different type of gravitational wave [source],” writes schwit1. “Gossip over potential detection of colliding neutron stars has astronomers in a tizzy,” reports Nature:
Astrophysicists may have detected gravitational waves last week from the collision of two neutron stars in a distant galaxy — and telescopes trained on the same region might also have spotted the event. Rumours to that effect are spreading fast online, much to researchers’ excitement. Such a detection could mark a new era of astronomy: one in which phenomena are both seen by conventional telescopes and ‘heard’ as vibrations in the fabric of space-time. “It would be an incredible advance in our understanding,” says Stuart Shapiro, an astrophysicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign…
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Louisiana and Washington state has three times detected gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time — emerging from colliding black holes. But scientists have been hoping to detect ripples from another cosmic cataclysm, such as the merger of neutron stars, remnants of large stars that exploded but were not massive enough to collapse into a black hole.
One astronomer tweeted last week that “merging neutron-neutron star is the initial call,” while Nature adds that the same rumor had already been circulating privately, according to “some astronomers who do not want to be identified.”
Friday Ligo announced cautiously that “We are working hard to assure that the candidates are valid gravitational-wave events, and it will require time to establish the level of confidence needed to bring any results to the scientific community and the greater public. We will let you know as soon we have information ready to share.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.