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gravitational waves

astrophysics

Squishy or Solid? A Neutron Star’s Insides Open to Debate

October 30, 2017

The core of a neutron star is such an extreme environment that physicists can’t agree on what happens inside. But a new space-based experiment — and a few more colliding neutron stars — should reveal whether neutrons themselves break down.

Artist’s rendering of merging neutron stars.
cosmology

Colliding Neutron Stars Could Settle the Biggest Debate in Cosmology

October 25, 2017

Newly discovered “standard sirens” provide an independent, clean way to measure how fast the universe is expanding.

Neutron star dancers
astronomy

Neutron-Star Collision Shakes Space-Time and Lights Up the Sky

October 16, 2017

Astronomers have for the first time matched a gravitational-wave signal to a kilonova’s burst of light, observations that will “go down in the history of astronomy.”

LIGO
Abstractions blog

LIGO Architects Win Nobel Prize in Physics

October 3, 2017

The American physicists Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish were honored for dreaming up and realizing the experiment that confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.

Abstractions blog

For Astronomers, Neutron Star Merger Could Eclipse Eclipse

August 25, 2017

Even as the solar eclipse was mesmerizing millions, astronomers were training their space- and land-based telescopes on a far more violent astrophysical event.

LIGO Hanford and Livingston
gravitational waves

Strange Noise in Gravitational-Wave Data Sparks Debate

June 30, 2017

The team that discovered gravitational waves put their data online. Now an independent group of researchers claims that they’ve found what might be a serious problem.

Black hole merger
Abstractions blog

Latest Black Hole Collision Comes With a Twist

June 1, 2017

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s third detection further compounds the mystery of why black holes collide.

astrophysics

A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold

March 23, 2017

For decades, researchers believed that violent supernovas forged gold and other heavy elements. But many now argue for a different cosmic quarry.

Abstractions blog

Responding Rapidly to Big Discoveries

September 9, 2016

How do scientists react to major breaking science news? For astrophysicists after the big gravitational waves announcement, it was meeting for two weeks in Santa Barbara, California.