Update 16/10/17: Today’s the day! (We’re in Australia, so it’s already 16 October for us.) And from what we know so far guys, this gravitational wave discovery announcement is going to be massive. Like nothing we’ve seen before.
We’re super-excited to share all the details with you as soon as the news drops, so stay tuned for a live blog and the big reveal!
12/10/17: Brace yourselves: it looks like there’s another big gravitational wave announcement coming.
LIGO and Virgo have announced that they’re going to be holding a big press conference on Monday, 16 October at 10am EDT at the Press Club in Washington DC.
“The gathering will begin with an overview of new findings from LIGO, Virgo and partners that span the globe,” the National Science Foundation announcement reads, “followed by details from telescopes that work with the LIGO and Virgo collaborations to study extreme events in the cosmos.”
Gravitational waves were officially confirmed publicly for the first time in February 2016, when LIGO announced that it had detected the phenomenon caused by a collision between two black holes. Since then, gravitational waves have been detected three more times.
The most recent announcement was in September, when LIGO announced that its collaboration with interferometer Virgo had allowed a much more precise triangulation of the signal.
Prior to that announcement, speculation was flying that the discovery was a collision between two neutron stars, with visuals from optical telescopes.
This time, we’re hesitant to make any speculation, other than it seems big. Representatives from 70 other observatories around the world will be at the event, and simultaneous briefings will also be taking place in London and Munich.
There will be two separate panel discussions at the main event, too. The first panel consists of directors and spokespersons from LIGO, Virgo and NASA.
The second panel includes people like David Sand, Nial Tanvir, Eleonora Troja and Andy Howell, who have all performed research into supernovas, and Marcelle Soares-Santos, who is pioneering the Dark Energy Survey’s search for an optical counterpart to gravitational wave events.
We’re getting pretty excited, you guys. Read more about the announcement here, and tune back into ScienceAlert for the big news on Monday!