Laine Hardy is not the only focus of fame in Livingston Parish. Another also starts with the letter L. It's is the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory -Or LIGO-built back in 2016. And it's kind of a big deal, too. Really big. The massive data collecting arms measure 2.5 miles in length. And they just found something remarkable for the very first time. With the aid of laser interferometers in Livingston (and Washington State), new gravitational wave data reveals a black hole swallowing up a large neutron star. Pretty much in one big gulp.
The Fox News report says The Australian National University (ANU), which participated in the collaborative research, explains that the “cataclysmic event” was detected last Wednesday (Aug. 14) by gravitational-wave discovery machines and telescopes in the U.S. and Italy. According to a statement, the machines detected ripples in space and time from an event that happened about 8,550 million trillion kilometers away from Earth. A galaxy VERY far, far away.
LIGO in Livingston (and LSU researchers) played a big part in this huge discovery. The LP facility has already won a Noble Prize in Physics in 2017. We think this could be another award-winner this year.
By the way, free tours to the public are offered on SCIENCE SATURDAYS., so you can find out more.