Since from school, we are reading that the Earth is surrounded by its gravitational waves on the theoretical assumption. The assumptions have been moved to the room of reality when two gravitational waves detectors light up during the merger of two black holes. The emission of gravitational waves due to the aforementioned activity has opened the doors to the scientists to research and discover the birthplace of these waves in space.
According to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration in the United States and Virgo Gravitational-Wave Observatory in Italy, the detection highlights the scientific potential of a three-detector network of gravitational-wave detectors. For the three detector system, the former has contributed two detectors, while the latter offered one. The duo discovered the gravitational waves on August 14, 2017, while, it came to light when they publically announced the same. Both of the observatories affirmed that it is the first in the lifetime detection of gravitational waves and fourth detection of binary black hole system
The LIGO detectors were working under Chad Hanna, assistant professor of physics and of astronomy & astrophysics and Freed Early Career Professor at Penn State, who has served as co-chair of LIGO’s Compact Binary Coalescence Group. He believes that it is a huge moment in the history of astronomy and hopes that someday the team will be able to find the source of gravitational waves while detecting them.
“LIGO and Virgo together allow us to pinpoint the gravitational wave source in the sky far better than before, which will dramatically improve our chances of capturing the gravitational wave source with other telescopes,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Virgo detection team head, B. S. Sathyaprakash, the Elsbach Professor of Physics and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State said, “Virgo adds new capability to the LIGO network. Thanks to Virgo we can now test a key prediction of Einstein’s general relativity, namely the polarization property of the wave”
According to him, the two LIGO detectors aren’t solely capable of detecting the waves. Giving the logic for the same, he said it is so because they alone could not fix the position of the source in the sky. “The addition of Virgo as a third detector helps in localizing the source and hence allows us to infer the wave’s polarization. As far as we can tell, Einstein is still right,” Sathyaprakash added.
The total mass of the system is roughly around 22 times the mass of our Sun which is nearly thrice smaller than the first detection. Sudden collision of black holes disrupts the space-time web and violently stretches and squeezes the web generating gravitational waves.
One of the greatest scientists of all time, Albert Einstein talked about gravitational waves nearly 100 years ago (2016) when he gave the general theory of relativity. Many scientists have opposed his theory as there was no evidence to prove it. However, the LIGO scientists have confirmed it after a century and have proved that the genius was right and way ahead of his time.
The find has also confirmed the existence of black holes that have highest gravitational pull such that even light cannot escape its gravity. Confirmation of black holes also raises many questions like — Were they formed in the Big Bang or through the collapse of matter at a later date? Did they form a pair of supermassive stars or did they join together by chance once the stars had become black holes? Are they related to the formation of the supermassive black holes that appear to exist in the cores of nearly all galaxies? And what are the implications for the collapse of matter into stars and galaxies and the formation of structure in the universe?
See Also: NCRA scientists discover unique supermassive binary Blackhole
Earlier this year, China made an impressive proclamation about its space exploration programs for the next five-year which also includes the introduction of world’s highest altitude telescopes for monitoring and studying cosmic gravitational waves.
As per the declaration made by the Yao Yongqiang, the Head Researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China is gearing up for putting up world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes close to Line of Actual Control. India will lend a hand to China for completing this ground-breaking mission. Comprising the whopping budget of 130 million Yuan or USD 18.8 million, the very expensive telescopes are expected to come into effect by the end of 2020. The two-phase telescope mission is designed to monitor and study the weakest echoes sourcing from the reverberating of cosmos.
See Also: Gravitational waves detected for the second time; All you need to know