Latest Gravitational wave Stories

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...

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...

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...

2010-08-18 18:49:22

The National Research Council (NRC) has strongly recommended the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) as one of NASA's next two major space missions, to start in 2016 in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). LISA will study the universe in a manner different from any other space observatory, by observing gravitational waves. The recommendation was announced August 13 in a press conference at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C. In the just-concluded...

2010-08-13 06:55:00

Idle computers are the astronomers' playground: Three citizen scientists "“ a German and an American couple "“ have discovered a new radio pulsar hidden in data gathered by the Arecibo Observatory. This is the first deep-space discovery by Einstein@Home, which uses donated time from the home and office computers of 250,000 volunteers from 192 different countries. (Science Express, Aug. 12, 2010.)The citizens credited with the discovery are Chris and Helen Colvin, of Ames, Iowa and...

2010-06-28 08:50:27

In the June 25th issue of Science, CSIRO astronomer George Hobbs and colleagues in the UK, Germany and Canada report that they have taken a big step towards solving a 30-year-old puzzle: why the "cosmic clocks" called pulsars aren't perfect. "We now have a more fundamental understanding of how pulsars work," Dr Hobbs said. "We've shown that many pulsar characteristics are linked, because they have one underlying cause." Armed with this understanding, astronomers will find it easier to...

2010-06-25 09:15:00

An international team of scientists including University of British Columbia astronomer Ingrid Stairs has discovered a promising way to fine-tune pulsars into the best precision time-pieces in the Universe. The discovery could give astronomers a new tool to study the powerful gravitational forces that shaped the universe. Pulsars--incredibly fast spinning collapsed stars--have been studied in great detail since their discovery in 1967. The extremely stable rotation of these 'cosmic clocks'...

2010-05-21 08:01:39

Advancing into the next frontier in astrophysics and cosmology depends on our ability to detect the presence of a particular type of wave in space, a primordial gravitational wave. Much like ripples moving across a pond, these waves stretch the fabric of space itself as they pass by. If detected, these weak and elusive waves could provide an unprecedented view of the earliest moments of our universe. In an article appearing in the May 21 issue of Science, Arizona State University theoretical...

2010-02-17 14:25:13

Scientists measure interference between matter waves separated by 0.1 mm While airplane and rocket experiments have proved that gravity makes clocks tick more slowly "“ a central prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity "“ a new experiment in an atom interferometer measures this slowdown 10,000 times more accurately than before, and finds it to be exactly what Einstein predicted. The result shows once again how well Einstein's theory describes the real world,...

2010-01-27 07:20:00

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have detected, in another galaxy, a stellar-mass black hole much farther away than any other previously known. With a mass above fifteen times that of the Sun, this is also the second most massive stellar-mass black hole ever found. It is entwined with a star that will soon become a black hole itself. The stellar-mass black holes [1] found in the Milky Way weigh up to ten times the mass of the Sun and are certainly not be taken lightly, but,...

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