Gravitational-wave astronomy is an emerging branch of observational astronomy which aims to use gravitational waves (minute distortions of spacetime predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity) to collect observational data about objects such as neutron stars and black holes, events such as supernovae, and processes including those of the early universe shortly after the Big Bang. They lie in between the bands for ground-based detectors, the initial Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and its advanced configuration (ALIGO) and pulsar timing arrays such as the European Gravitational Observatory, Cascina, Italy; GEO600 in Sarstedt, Germany, and the Kamioka Gravitational-wave Detector (KAGRA), operated by the university of Tokyo in the Kamioka Observatory, Japan.
Gravitational-wave astronomy seeks to use direct measurements of gravitational waves to study astrophysical systems and to test Einstein’s theory of gravity. The observations of gravitational-wave signatures, and were the first observation of a binary black hole merger. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a European Space Agency mission designed to detect and accurately measure gravitational waves – tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time-from astronomical sources. LISA should detect objects in the universe – black holes, neutron stars. The researchers developed computer simulations of faint black hole binaries, consisting of two black holes merge too.
As a young area of research, Gravitational-wave Astronomy is still in development. However, there is consensus within the astrophysics community that this field will evolve to become an established component of 21st century multi-messenger astronomy. Detecting gravitational waves from binary star systems composed of White Dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. A collaboration of physicists has announced the first ever direct detection of gravitational waves – ripples created by the collisions of black holes. NASA and the European Space Agency is planning to launch a space-based detector as well as the continued improvement of the pulsar timing arrays currently building up the accuracy and sensitivity to detect gravitational waves from the early universe. The Advanced LIGO detectors are a masterpiece of experimental physics.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) project to detect gravitational waves here on Earth. On 17th August 2017, the advanced LIGO or VIRGO interferometers observed gravitational waves emitted by the inspiral and merger of a binary neutron star system for the first time. The emitted gravitational waves produced by compact binary systems and mergers of supermassive black holes. The fact that this one single gravitational wave event (gw170817) to measure the age for the universe is remarkable, and not possible with every gravity wave detection.
Image Credit: LIGO/A. Simonnet