Physicists have detected gravitational waves, for the very first time, from the collision of two neutron stars. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) made this observation. LIGO is a collaborative project with more than one thousand researchers from over 20 countries, including the University of Minnesota.
Artist rendering of two neutron stars colliding. Courtesy LIGO
The LIGO-Virgo results were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters. Additional papers from the LIGO and Virgo collaborations and the astronomical community have been either accepted or submitted for publication in a variety of journals.
This is a really big deal and will open up a whole new area of astrophysics research to help us better understand our Universe.
Vuk Mandic, The School of Physics and Astronomy
"We can now observe and study astrophysical phenomena using both electromagnetic (light) observations with traditional telescopes and gravitational-wave observations. We call this 'the multi-messenger astrophysics'." And as this event shows, multi-messenger observations have a tremendous potential to both deepen and broaden our understanding of such phenomena," Mandic added.