Questions tagged [gravitational-waves]

Waves in spacetime formed by the acceleration of massive bodies. A passing wave causes spacetime to be stretched and squashed by a very small amount. Typically we can only detect the most energic gravitational events such as black hole mergers.

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"Who saw" the binary neutron star merger first? What was the sequence of events? (GRB/GW170817)

I'm trying to read Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger the "cast of thousands" OPEN Access ApJ letter 848:L12 (59pp), 2017 October 20 https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aa91c9 ...
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What produces gravitational waves with "periods between about 100 - 8000 seconds"?

The Ulysses mission has a compelling story. It was sent to Jupiter to perform a gravitational assist shooting it out of the plane of the ecliptic in order to fly over the Sun's north and south poles ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
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Have more recent LIGO/VIRGO gravitational wave measurements narrowed down the speed of gravity further?

This answer to How precise are the observational measurements for the speed of gravity? says: ...in 2013 a Chinese group built a model using Earth's tides that helped them narrow it down. ... [T]he ...
uhoh's user avatar
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What does "GPU-accelerated butterfly matched filtering over dense bank of time-symmetric chirp-like templates" mean? (GW170817)

A new analysis of gravitational wave (and other data) from GW170817 on 2017-Aug-17 has been published, strongly suggesting that the merger of two neutron stars resulted in a large, rapidly rotating ...
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Is there a standardized "Astronomical Alert" system?

“Who saw” the binary neutron star merger first? What was the sequence of events? (GRB/GW170817) highlights a particularly notable astronomical alert, but I am sure that there are alerts triggered by ...
uhoh's user avatar
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What do gravitational waves allow us to understand?

Before reading this question, you should read this paper. From what I understood, we managed to detect gravitational waves for the first time. Is this discovery going to help us understand something ...
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Is the difference between LIGO & Virgo and their "Advanced" versions really generational, or were these just planned incremental upgrades?

I just learned the term "third generation gravitational wave detector" in answers to What would a kHz gravitational wave detector look like? (mountains on millisecond magnetars) How would it ...
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How large could gravitational waves get and what effect could they have on us?

The waves detected by LIGO were basically subatomic distortions of space-time. Could there be much greater distortions closer to a source. Would they become perceptible to a human in any way and what ...
redshiftseven's user avatar
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314 views

Why would the merger of spinning black holes within the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole cause them to "shoot straight up" out of the disk?

I just tried to read the new New York Times article Two Black Holes Colliding Not Enough? Make It Three which links to the new 25-June-2020 Physical Review Letter Graham et al. Candidate ...
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What enhances the capture and merge rates of pairs of small black holes orbiting around supermassive black holes?

I just tried to read the new New York Times article Two Black Holes Colliding Not Enough? Make It Three which links to the new 25-June-2020 Physical Review Letter Graham et al. Candidate ...
uhoh's user avatar
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What is the "hypothesized lower mass gap" between 2.5 and 5 solar masses?

Searching here for "mass gap" yields nothing yet. Penn State's Black hole or neutron star? LIGO-Virgo scientists find mystery object in 'mass gap' begins: When the most massive stars die, ...
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Why can't supermassive black holes merge? (or can they?)

The CNet article Astronomers discover two supermassive black holes in a death spiral links to Discovery of a Close-separation Binary Quasar at the Heart of a z ~ 0.2 Merging Galaxy and Its ...
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Why do Earth and moon move apart but binary black holes move closer?

According to the accepted answer on Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why?, the moon is receding from Earth because tidal forces and friction cause energy to be lost. ...
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Expected nature of LISA's data; will it be more like a forest of static peaks, or a series of individual events?

@RobJeffries' clear answer to Which things “LIGO can see things that LISA can't”, and vice-versa? explains that the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna or LISA will only be sensitive to gravitational ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Redshift for gravitational waves?

According to general relativity, would gravitational waves experience the same sort of redshift that electromagnetic waves experience due to the expansion of the universe? And are there astrophysical ...
dualredlaugh's user avatar
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GW190521 black hole merger total mass calculation and missing mass, how does this happen?

I have just read an article about that black hole merge event (it's in Italian): Sette miliardi di anni fa, due mostri si unirono What made me curious is that the article tell that a 66 solar mass ...
Skary's user avatar
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Which things can LIGO see that LISA can't, and vice-versa?

CNET's Astronomers discover two ferociously fast stars locked in a death spiral quotes Kevin Burdge, lead author on the new paper in Nature General relativistic orbital decay in a seven-minute-...
uhoh's user avatar
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What would a kHz gravitational wave detector look like? (mountains on millisecond magnetars) How would it differ from LIGO/Virgo?

The abstract of Gravitational waves from mountains in newly born millisecond magnetars says: In this paper we study the spin-evolution and gravitational-wave luminosity of a newly born millisecond ...
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Observation of Gravitional waves by LIGO from binary black hole merger

I read the paper "Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger" https://physics.aps.org/featured-article-pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102 I tried to understand all the graphs ...
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Are binary neutron star mergers needed to explain the abundance of gold?

The NPR News item Astronomers Strike Gravitational Gold In Colliding Neutron Stars mentions and quotes "Daniel Kasen, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley:" ...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes
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Life planets orbiting black-holes. Can/Do they really exist?

So, I watched Interstellar and if you watched it too you know that there's a planet orbiting a black-hole, they call it Miller's Planet. According to the movie, every hour on Miller's Planet is ...
kptlronyttcna's user avatar
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Why did astronomers believe most or all stellar black holes had masses no greater than 15 solar masses?

The so-called 'mass gaps' for black holes, according to theoretical models, are between 2-5 solar masses and 50 to 150 solar masses. (Actually, I have read that there is no good theoretical reason ...
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9 votes
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Gravitational waves and gamma ray burst: how were the error bars determined for this speed of gravity calculation? Was $H_0$ used?

This newly updated answer to How precise are the observational measurements for the speed of gravity? and this answer to How is the most accurate value of 𝐺 measured? cites the November 2017 arXiv ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
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Would LIGO Detect Head-On Collision?

Assume two black holes collide head-on. In other words, they were not orbiting one another before the collision. I know this is unlikely. Further assume that their sizes and distance from Earth are ...
James's user avatar
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How far should the source be, for the gravitation waves to be visible on Earth?

If I understand it well enough, gravitational waves cause ripples in the space-time fabric. To our eyes, that would look like those rippling-effects on amateur videos. Where does a source have to be,...
sudo --do-it's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does a gravitational wave loses energy over distance?

How does a gravitational wave travel over vast distances without losing its energy? Could they go on forever as long as the Space? Thank you
Dan Jay's user avatar
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How does the gravitational wave strain from a rotating binary depend on the chirp mass, frequency and distance & what a short derivation looks like?

Our most familiar experience with wave propagation either from firsthand experience or in school comes from the phenomena of sound and light and radio electromagnetic propagation. In air, we know that ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Techniques for locating origin of gravitational waves

The gravity wave detections (GW150914 and GW151226) have both been ambiguous in their exact position, the LIGO papers (GW150914 and GW151226) give no precise information about the location of the ...
user3483902's user avatar
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What actually determines the angular uncertainty of the source of a detected gravitational wave?

This answer and comments got me thinking. Astrometry 101 tells us that while we can use $\lambda/D$ as an estimator of resolution, if we can assume a point source we can determine the centroid or ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
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How did the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar Provide Confirming Evidence of General Relativity?

What measurements and observations of the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar agreed precisely with the predictions of general relativity, and how did these measurements support the theory?
Frank's user avatar
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Is it possible to get a glimpse of the Big Bang through gravitation waves?

I read in an article announcing the detection of gravitational waves by LIGO that it will be possible to detect them from the Big Bang. Is this true?
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How to derive the redshift of GW150914?

We all know LIGO has detected gravitational wave(GW) directly. prl The LIGO team argue they detected the merger of two solar mass black holes($36M\odot+29M\odot-3M\odot$) at z=0.09. My questions ...
questionhang's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Gravitational field released during supernovae

During the collapse of a star at the commencement of supernovae, the intense pressures force fusion and fission to create the heavier elements and release vast amounts of energy. As this energy/mass ...
Steve Feldman's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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What can be learned from, or noted in this LIGO Orrery video?

The Ars Technica article Physicists detected gravitational waves from four new black-hole mergers notes that This brings the total number of events detected by LIGO and Virgo to 11. It also has a ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Fraction of initial mass lost (radiated) by neutron star mergers compared to black hole mergers?

GW190521 black hole merger total mass calculation and missing mass, how does this happen? notes that there are about 9 solar masses missing from the final black hole. GW170817 is the first observed ...
uhoh's user avatar
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93 votes
2 answers
12k views

Why is the discovery of merging neutron stars important?

I'm fairly certain people here will have heard about it, already, but apparently, two supernova leftovers clashed some 130 million years ago and some billion billion kilometres away ... What I haven'...
User1291's user avatar
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What did LIGO Actually See? (Gravitational waves discovery)

I am trying to find an original video/image of what LIGO actually saw, but all I can find is artist renditions of gravitational waves.
Scott Taylor's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
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What observations can be expected on LIGO if any when Betelgeuse goes supernova?

What observations can be expected from the LIGO† gravitational wave observatory if and when Betelgeuse goes supernova? Would we know that Betelgeuse has gone supernova before we see it light up our ...
Lord Loh.'s user avatar
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22 votes
5 answers
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How far away are the events that caused the gravitational waves that have been detected?

A certain number of gravitational wave events have been detected. Is it possible to know how far away the mergers that caused those gravitational wave events are?
usernumber's user avatar
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21 votes
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Multi-messenger astronomy: what is the potential of simultaneous detection of gravitational waves and neutrinos from a supernova?

Thanks to the efforts of the aLIGO team, gravitational wave astronomy is a reality. At the same time, neutrino detectors like Hyperkamiokande are becoming much more sensitive. My question is: what ...
ProfRob's user avatar
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Is there an upper limit on the mass of black hole mergers we can detect?

From the LIGO website, black hole mergers have been observed between black holes with a mass up to roughly 50 $M_\odot$. Are there no black holes with a mass above 100 $M_\odot$ or is this an ...
usernumber's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
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How is the Hubble constant determined from gravitational waves?

We know there is a discrepancy between measurements of the Hubble constant, $H_0$. On one side there is the method of the Planck mission, where they use the CMB and the $\Lambda$CDM model to determine ...
PrincepsMaximus's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
296 views

Energy deposition in planet Earth due to gravitational waves

The gravitational wave detected by the LIGO observatory acted on planet Earth streching and shrinking it a little bit. I assume that not all of this action was fully elastic and that some energy of ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
540 views

Will gravitational waves too far away ever reach us?

Gravity is the curvature of spacetime, and its effects travel at lightspeed. However, space is expanding; eventually, light from distant galaxies will become more and more redshifted, and we will no ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
235 views

Do mixed type remnant collisions produce anything interesting?

The recent detection of a binary neutron star inspiraling and colliding raises an interesting question in my mind. Type Ia supernovae are believed to be caused by white dwarf/regular star pairs and/or ...
Sean Lake's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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Is there a limit to the distance of detectable gravitational wave events?

This is somewhat a follow up question to this one. This article indicates that the binaries detected have a distance between 320 and 2840 Mpc. With the current technology, is there a limit to the ...
usernumber's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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If an object 1 billion light years away emits light, does it take more than 1 billion years to reach us because of the expansion of the universe?

From page 7 of the recent (September 26, 2020) edition of Science News Magazine: Detected May 21, 2019, the gravitational waves came from a source about 17 billion light-years from Earth, making this ...
Kurt Hikes's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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Would gravitational waves be subject to external gravitational perturbations?

Given that the gravitational wave detected by LIGO was a very weak echo of a very distant event, could it have been "deviated" and distorted on its way here by a sufficiently massive black hole in ...
Drunken Code Monkey's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
377 views

What's the actual speed of electromagnetic radiation in space?

The speed of EM radiation is very slightly less than $c$, because space is not quite a vacuum. Say EM travels at $(1-\varepsilon)c$. For example, this results in a slight delay between receiving a ...
Adam Chalcraft's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
279 views

Can't pulsars and stars be used for gravitational wave measurement?

Suppose that we collected photons from a distant star, and they arrive regularly at 15 photons every microsecond onto a CCD, when a gravity wave bends space time, wouldn't the regular 15 photons graph ...
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