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Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

August’s kilonova in NGC 4993

Robert Naeye for Astronomy magazine, on the instrumentation that detected a 130M year-old kilonova:

The LIGO and Virgo instruments detected a crescendo of waves for a whopping 100 seconds — much longer than previous detections. The duration, amplitude, and frequency of the waves had all the characteristics that theorists have expected for a binary system consisting of two neutron stars on a death spiral ending with coalescence.

I haven’t written too much about this event yet. Mostly because I’ve been devouring as much information about it as I’ve been able to find time for.

The series of events that led to the construction of LIGO and Virgo are incredible enough on their own. The subsequent series of events leading to the direct observation of a kilonova are downright unbelievable.

Naeye’s piece is great and goes into detail. But it merely scratches the surface. I urge you to pour over this event on your own to see how astounding this observation really was.

Kip Thorne wins the Nobel

Nobel Media AB:

On 14 September 2015, the universe’s gravitational waves were observed for the very first time. The waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago, came from a collision between two black holes. It took 1.3 billion years for the waves to arrive at the LIGO detector in the USA.

A prize 1.3 billion (the gravitational waves), and over 100 years (Einstein’s theory), and 40 years (LIGO) in the making.

Rainer Weiss is the primary prize winner while Kip and Barry C. Barish jointly share the other half. Congratulations to all.