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LIGO detected the gravitational waves from a 29 solar mass black hole inspiraling to collision with a 36 solar mass black hole at half the speed of light, 1.3 billion light years away.

The resulting merger formed a 62 solar mass black hole. 3 solar masses were converted to gravitational wave energy, as predicted by (numerical) general relativity. The 20 millisecond collision outshone all of the stars in the universe by a factor of 50.

https://www.ligo.caltech.edu

A big day for science.
This blog post was posted pre-announcement but I've found it very useful to keep in mind today:

http://stuver.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/q-h...-help.html

Quote:Q: How can gravitational waves help mankind?

@HughScot asked:
What do you hope to discover about gravitational waves that will help mankind in the future?


There are many things that we hope to observe through gravitational waves especially since they have the advantage of being able to travel through matter and come out the other side unchanged, unlike the different forms of light used in traditional astronomy. This gives us the opportunity to observe things that do not emit light, like black holes or to observe systems that would otherwise be obscured by intervening material.

But this question asks how gravitational waves will improve mankind in the future - as in what are the applications of gravitational waves. I get this question often when I am giving tours of the facility. Well, the primary use of gravitational wave observations will be to understand our Universe better. Most people's reactions to this are that our efforts can better used for other endeavors. But this view is a little short sighted. One of the things we forget is that when we understand more about the Universe in general, we know more about the world around us. We are a very small part of the Universe, but we are a part of it nonetheless.

The rest of the article is a good read too.
(02-12-2016, 01:38 AM)Tachyon Wrote: [ -> ]LIGO detected the gravitational waves from a 29 solar mass black hole inspiraling to collision with a 36 solar mass black hole at half the speed of light, 1.3 billion light years away.

Dumb question: is there independent verification of that event?

I understand two LIGO detectors spotted the event, but did any other instrument - gamma ray or x-ray satellites maybe - see it?
[Image: gravitational_waves.png]
Would it be possible to encode information using gravitational waves and send these messages in all directions across the universe? I was thinking about something like the Arecibo message. Would a civilisation like the builders of the Leviathan or the Gigasphere builders be able to do it? What about the Terragens?

Could a message that was send like that be received in a "readable" state even after billions of years?
Here's the peer-reviewed LIGO detection paper:

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10...116.061102

(NB. Kudos to the team for verifying their work *before* making an announcement.)

And here's a candidate EM counterpart:

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10...116.061102
(02-15-2016, 07:05 AM)Tachyon Wrote: [ -> ]Here's the peer-reviewed LIGO detection paper:

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10...116.061102

(NB. Kudos to the team for verifying their work *before* making an announcement.)

And here's a candidate EM counterpart:

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10...116.061102

Same link?
Quote:Would it be possible to encode information using gravitational waves and send these messages in all directions across the universe? I was thinking about something like the Arecibo message. Would a civilisation like the builders of the Leviathan or the Gigasphere builders be able to do it? What about the Terragens?

Could a message that was send like that be received in a "readable" state even after billions of years?
I would think that the sort of metric engineering that can create a Void Factory or a Weylforge should be capable of producing gravitational waves; they need not be quite as powerful as these newly-detected ones, since one would hope that the receiving equipment would be far more sensitive than 21st century technology.

And it seems gravitational waves should retain some useful information after billions of years; after all, these waves contained information about the sizes of the colliding holes and the speed at which they collided. The Terragens will have numerous very sensitive detectors, including a system of linked detectors that work in concert with the Argus Array
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/46f96c4a62839
and this system has no doubt detected some intriguing messages in the past.