Scientists can now catch gravitational waves better than ever.
Although physicists only observed the first cosmic “cry” in 2015, subsequent improvements in the detectors have opened up more and more of these signals for scientific research. Twins Laser Interferometer Gravity wave observatory (LIGO) detectors in Louisiana and Washington, along with a European partner named Virgo, are currently interrupting other observations for pandemic caused by the corona virus and continually upgrading, but the scientists associated with the project spent time digging into the data to create a new catalog of dozens of gravitational-wave signals discovered during the first half of the observing campaign. joint third, lasting from April to September 2019.
“One key to finding a new gravitational wave signal about every five days in six months is the upgrade and refinement of two LIGO detectors and a Virgo detector,” said Karsten Danzmann, director at the Institute of Gravitational Physics. Max Planck in Germany, said in a statement.
In pictures: Great discoveries about neutron star crashes, gravitational waves and more
In particular, he pointed to new hardware like lasers and mirrors, along with new techniques for reducing background noise. “This increases the volume at which our detector can receive a signal, such as matching neutron star Danzmann said.
According to the researchers associated with the project, better sensitivity allows scientists to capture more gravitational waves, while also being a more diverse signal array.
“When you look at categories, there is one thing in common that all events have: They come from a fusion of compact objects like black hole or neutron star. But if you look closely, they’re all completely different, “said Frank Ohme, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Germany, in the statement. We are having a richer picture of population by gravitational waves of sources. The masses of these objects span a very wide range of masses, from the range of our sun to more than 90 times their mass, some of them closer to Earth, some of them very far. “
A handful of the 39 findings included in the new release hit headlines, including the first observed deviated black hole merger, merging is first observed to create one medium mass black holeand the first observed merging includes one Objects are within the size range between neutron stars and black holes.
But those were not the only intriguing findings in the batch, the researchers emphasized. One of the findings could represent a small black hole and a neutron star, merged mixture which physicists have been waiting to see. “Unfortunately the signal is quite fuzzy, so we cannot be completely sure,” said Serguei Ossokine, another physicist at the institute.
Another finding, he added, represents the lightest black holes scientists observed have been fused so far – one that is six times the mass of the sun and the other half as large.
And there is still much more data to be studied. The second half of the same observation began in November 2019 and continued until the coronavirus pandemic forced discoverers to send scientific staff home to ensure safety by the end of March 2020.
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