Last Wednesday, the discovery of a gravitational wave surprised astronomers quite a bit. While the researchers were working at the LIGO, a pair of gravity waves rolled in just a few minutes.
The first, designated S190828j, was taken from the three gravity wave gravity detectors at 06:34 hrs. Coordinated Universal Time. The second, S190828l, was measured at 06:55 – just 21 minutes later.
They both seemed to run from the mill dying screams of black holes as they clamped together. But that's why it's so surprising: astronomers wouldn't expect to see a pair of signals in such rapid succession.
In fact, this is only the second time that two detections have turned on the same day. Moreover, at first glance they also seemed echoes of more or less the same spots in the sky.
"That's real" Uh, wait, what ?; We have never seen this before … "a moment in the gravitational wave astronomy", astrophysicist Robert Rutledge of McGill University later tweeted after speculating openly that this might not be a coincidence.
-sciences – it's a real "Uh, wait, what? We've never seen this before ……." in gravity wave astronomy. If you want to see how double checks and confirmations and conclusions happen – look in real time. It's happening now.
– Robert Rutledge (@rerutled) August 28, 2019
No one can blame Routledge for being excited. After all, unexpected events are what make the discoveries. Like he said, it's real-time science.
One possibility, briefly stated, was that S190828j and S190828l are actually the same wave, separated by some distortion in space before being roughly thrown together. That would be huge .
Gravity lenses – the deforming effect that the intervention mass has on space, as described by general relativity – can separate and duplicate the rays of light from distant objects. This has become a useful tool for astronomers in measuring distances.
If this was indeed a two-for-one deal, this would be the first time a gravity wave has been observed through a gravity lens.
Alas, now it seems rather unlikely. Over time, new details emerged showing that the two signals did not overlap enough to originate from the same source.
If this was a lens event, you would expect the two locations to sit more or less exactly on top of each other. They have similar shapes and appear in the same part of the sky, but they don't really overlap: pic.twitter.com/lqvigNhyBl
To look at the bright side, we are now living in an era where the discovery of catastrophic galactic giants is not a rare occurrence, but rather an endless bark of thunderstorms we can record and measure with an insane level of accuracy. It's hard to believe that the first collision was discovered until a few years ago.
Scientists encounter a problem after a wave of events like this. On the one hand, wild speculation tends to take on a life of their own when they are discussed so honestly in public, becoming a fact until they are only half baked.
But time can be significant when we & # 39; re-scan almost infinite amounts of sky and for clues. By throwing ideas wide open, different groups of researchers can focus their attention on a phenomenon and collect data while it is still hot.
This is what scientists do best – stumble upon strange events, throw out ideas, and discuss which ones deserve to
If there is more to S190828j and S190828l than meets the eye, we'll let you know. For now, we can be disappointed that there was no earthquake discovery on Earth while we are still amazed that we have the technology to find it at all.
We really need to celebrate the "disappointments" a little more often.