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Vor zwei Jahren hatten Staubspuren die Entdeckung von Gravitationswellen noch verhindert, jetzt ist es amtlich: Gravitational waves, Einstein’s ripples in spacetime, spotted for first time, hier in Deutsch auf spOnline und ausführlicher im Scienceblog Astrodicticum, hier das Paper: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger, hier die Ligo-Seite inklusive Gravitations-Welle als WAV-Audiodatei.
Der New Yorker hat die komplette Hintergrundstory: Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them.
Just over a billion years ago, many millions of galaxies from here, a pair of black holes collided. They had been circling each other for aeons, in a sort of mating dance, gathering pace with each orbit, hurtling closer and closer. By the time they were a few hundred miles apart, they were whipping around at nearly the speed of light, releasing great shudders of gravitational energy. Space and time became distorted, like water at a rolling boil. In the fraction of a second that it took for the black holes to finally merge, they radiated a hundred times more energy than all the stars in the universe combined. They formed a new black hole, sixty-two times as heavy as our sun and almost as wide across as the state of Maine. As it smoothed itself out, assuming the shape of a slightly flattened sphere, a few last quivers of energy escaped. Then space and time became silent again.
The waves rippled outward in every direction, weakening as they went. On Earth, dinosaurs arose, evolved, and went extinct. The waves kept going. About fifty thousand years ago, they entered our own Milky Way galaxy, just as Homo sapiens were beginning to replace our Neanderthal cousins as the planet’s dominant species of ape. A hundred years ago, Albert Einstein, one of the more advanced members of the species, predicted the waves’ existence, inspiring decades of speculation and fruitless searching. Twenty-two years ago, construction began on an enormous detector, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Then, on September 14, 2015, at just before eleven in the morning, Central European Time, the waves reached Earth.
— New Scientist (@newscientist) February 11, 2016
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves,” said David Reitze, the executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, at the press conference. “We did it!” The announcement accompanies a paper published in Physical Review Letters.
This historic signal was produced by a pair of black holes roughly 1.3 billion light years away, one 29 times the mass of the sun and the other 36 times, orbiting each other and then merging into a single black hole.
Zur Gravitationsfeier hier mal wieder der beste Techno-Track ever: