LIGO Newsflash

This morning I heard the same rumour from two distinct (and possibly independent) sources. That’s not enough to prove that the rumour is true, but perhaps enough to make it  repeating here.

The rumour is that, on Thursday 11th February in Washington DC at 10.40am 10.30am local time (15.40 15.30GMT), the Laser Interferometry Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) will announce the direct experimental detection of gravitational waves.

If true this is immensely exciting, but I reiterate that it is, for the time being at least, only a rumour.

I will add more as soon as I get it. Please feel free to provide updates through the comments. Likewise if you have information to the contrary…


UPDATE: 9th February 2016. An official announcement of the forthcoming announcement has now been announced. It will take place at 10.30 local time in Washington (15.30 GMT), although it is believed the first ten minutes will involve a couple of songs by the popular vocal artist Beyoncé.


23 Responses to “LIGO Newsflash”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    I thought the direct detection of gravitational radiation was supposed to be 20 years in the future. At least it has been for the past 50 years …

    • George S. Williams Says:

      I thought that it was fusion that was always 20 years away.

    • The notion of (scientific) progress may be not completely dead.
      Check this out: “Recent advances in gravitational-wave astronomy make the direct detection of gravitational waves from the merger of two stellar-mass compact objects a realistic prospect…. The advanced LIGO detection rate… depends
      on the metallicity evolution. Deriving upper and lower limits from a local and a global approximation for the metallicity distribution
      of massive stars, we estimate aLIGO detection rates (at design limit) of 19 to 550 per year for black hole – black hole merger…
      Given that the sensitivity of aLIGO is currently about 1/3 of the design sensitivity the expected detection rate is 4 % of our calculated values…” (

      • The component masses had been out in the wild for a while by the time this paper hit the arxiv. No doubt we will see a whole host of stellar population synthesis model fitting in the next few months.

      • As long as the number of independent potential signals of direct gravitational waves detections increases with a fair rate too (following the aforementioned estimation for instance) it is OK with me 🙂

  2. The second paragraph sounds a bit garbled.

  3. John O'Connor Says:

    Hmm – they probably detected some emanation from the White House.

  4. John O'Connor Says:

    Oops – I meant emission.

  5. Anton Garrett Says:

    Feel the universe quake at the imminence of this announcement…

  6. Peter- I hadn’t heard this exact time — but everything on the Interwebs is pointing to a Feb 11 announcement. When the rumors first came out, they seem to be strong as any others we hear from time to time (and quite worthy of the mild ribbing in your poem at that juncture 😉 ) — but it’s very clear in recent times that it’s a lot more than that.

    It appears to be the moment that so very many astrophysicists have waited for decades is finally at hand.

    This seems to not to be a false injection — and thus is going to be a Big.Freaking.Deal….!

  7. telescoper Says:

    Looking at the press advisory notice again, it doesn’t seem to me to be worded in a way that suggests it is going to be an announcement of a discovery…

    ..or am I over-interpreting?

  8. Peter- I find the wording of the Virgo statement:

    Just a bit more ‘positive’, but you’re right — they are playing it very close to the vest. There’s enough now publically out on the web with enough detail though, e.g.:

    That it would be *highly* surprising were they not to announce, methinks, now..


  9. […] the eagerly awaited press conference happened this afternoon. It started in unequivocal […]

  10. And — there it is. A *LONG* time coming — and we’re in a new era, now. 🙂

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