Scientists are back at work at a private observatory, and now it works even better than before.
After a three-year hiatus, scientists in the United States have turned on detectors capable of measuring gravitational waves. These are tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time that travel throughout the universe and the existence of these waves was predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago, he wrote. reflects.
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Unlike light waves, gravitational waves are not interfered by galaxies, stars, or the gas and dust that fill the universe. This means that studying them helps to learn more about the most amazing cosmic phenomena, explains Chad Hanna from the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
As of 2020, LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is not operational because it was undergoing an upgrade. This made it possible to increase the sensitivity of the LIGO detectors.
According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, mass and energy distort the shape of space and time. The curvature of space-time determines how objects move relative to each other – this is what people perceive as gravity.
Gravitational waves are caused by the merger of black holes or neutron stars. This space-bending process sends waves out into space that move like ripples on the surface of the water in a pond.
First observations of gravitational waves
Although the existence of gravitational waves was predicted by Albert Einstein as early as 1916, for more than 80 years, scientists have been unable to confirm their existence due to a lack of the necessary technology.
Only in 2000 was the LIGO observatory built in the USA, which began its work two years later. In fact, this object consists of two observatories, one of which is located in the state of Washington, and the other in the state of Louisiana. Each observatory is gigantic L-shaped with two “arms” 4 km long at 90 degrees from the central part.
For 8 years, scientists have not detected any signs of gravitational waves, and therefore, in 2010, LIGO was closed for modernization. The observatory, which opened in 2015, almost immediately detected gravitational waves generated by the merger of two black holes.
In early 2020, before the observatory was shut down again for upgrades, scientists detected approximately 90 gravitational waves coming from mergers of black holes and neutron stars.
LIGO detectors update
As a result of the detector’s updates, Hanna said, the LISRO can now detect weaker gravitational waves, something it couldn’t do before. In early May, LIGO began a short test, and a few days earlier, gravitational waves were detected during the merger of neutron stars and black holes.
previously to focus He wrote that astronomers discovered a new Neptune, in which the year lasts only 4 days and the temperature of the planet is about 1200 degrees Celsius.
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