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Latest Gravitational wave Stories

2011-04-07 10:38:00

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new supercomputer simulation shows the collision of two neutron stars can naturally produce the magnetic structures thought to power the high-speed particle jets associated with short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The study provides the most detailed glimpse of the forces driving some of the universe's most energetic explosions. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The state-of-the-art simulation ran for nearly...

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2011-04-07 11:00:00

A new supercomputer simulation shows the collision of two neutron stars can naturally produce the magnetic structures thought to power the high-speed particle jets associated with short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The study provides the most detailed glimpse of the forces driving some of the universe's most energetic explosions. The state-of-the-art simulation ran for nearly seven weeks on the Damiana computer cluster at the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI) in Potsdam, Germany. It traces events...

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2011-04-07 08:50:00

White dwarfs are dead stars that pack a Sun's-worth of matter into an Earth-sized ball. Astronomers have just discovered an amazing pair of white dwarfs whirling around each other once every 39 minutes. This is the shortest-period pair of white dwarfs now known. Moreover, in a few million years they will collide and merge to create a single star. "These stars have already lived a full life. When they merge, they'll essentially be 'reborn' and enjoy a second life," said Smithsonian astronomer...

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2011-03-08 09:57:08

A key technical challenge of the joint ESA"“NASA LISA mission has been solved: how to maintain precise pointing of a laser beam across five million km of space. The next-decade Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission will look for ripples in spacetime "“ their existence predicted by Albert Einstein "“ known as gravitational waves. A trio of identical spacecraft will fly five million km apart in an equilateral triangle formation, linked by laser beams. A...

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2010-11-24 06:40:00

A team of scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has brought the world one step closer to "hearing" gravitational waves -- ripples in space and time predicted by Albert Einstein in the early 20th century. The research, performed in a lab at JPL in Pasadena, Calif., tested a system of lasers that would fly aboard the proposed space mission called Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA. The mission's goal is to detect the subtle, whisper-like signals of gravitational...

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2010-11-19 09:04:40

"ËœDavid and Goliath' scenario explores extreme mass ratios (Goliath wins) Scientists have simulated, for the first time, the merger of two black holes of vastly different sizes, with one mass 100 times larger than the other. This extreme mass ratio of 100:1 breaks a barrier in the fields of numerical relativity and gravitational wave astronomy. Until now, the problem of simulating the merger of binary black holes with extreme size differences had remained an unexplored region of...

2010-11-16 22:16:13

A Princeton scientist with an interdisciplinary bent has taken two well-known problems in mathematics and reformulated them as a physics question, offering new tools to solve challenges relevant to a host of subjects ranging from improving data compression to detecting gravitational waves. Salvatore Torquato, a professor of chemistry, has shown that two abstract puzzles in geometry -- known as the "covering" and "quantizer" problems -- can be recast as "ground state" problems in physics....

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2010-11-16 10:31:47

Sometimes when you're looking for one thing, you find something completely different and unexpected. In the scientific endeavor, such serendipity can lead to new discoveries. Today, researchers who found the first hypervelocity stars escaping the Milky Way announced that their search also turned up a dozen double-star systems. Half of those are merging and might explode as supernovae in the astronomically near future. All of the newfound binary stars consist of two white dwarfs. A white dwarf...

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2010-10-28 10:20:24

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered the most massive neutron star yet found, a discovery with strong and wide-ranging impacts across several fields of physics and astrophysics. "This neutron star is twice as massive as our Sun. This is surprising, and that much mass means that several theoretical models for the internal composition of neutron stars now are ruled out," said Paul Demorest, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory...

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2010-10-22 08:20:00

A European team working on the LISA Pathfinder mission has completed an extensive series of ground tests on the spacecraft's optical payload. The tests successfully achieved - for the first time on a spacecraft instrument - the incredible precision that will be required to confirm the existence of gravitational waves. The extremely precise measurements are realized by a laser interferometer that measures the distance between two free-floating heavy masses with reflective surfaces. In the...