Multi Media

Gravity: Making Waves
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory is spearheading the completely new field of gravitational wave astronomy and opening a whole new window on the universe. LIGO's exquisitely sensitive instruments may ultimately take us farther back in time than we've ever been, catching, perhaps, the first murmurs of the universe in formation.


LIGO Gravitational Wave Observatory


Two Massive Black Holes Merge - Simulation
NASA scientists reach a breakthrough in computer modeling that allows them to simulate what gravitational waves from merging black holes look like. The three-dimensional simulations, the largest astrophysical calculations ever performed on a NASA supercomputer, provide the foundation to explore the universe in an entirely new way.

"These mergers are by far the most powerful events occurring in the universe, with each one generating more energy than all of the stars in the universe combined. Now we have realistic simulations to guide gravitational wave detectors coming online," said Joan Centrella, head of the Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory at Goddard. The simulations were performed on the Columbia supercomputer at NASA's Ames Research Center near Mountain View, Calif.

Listening to Gravitional Waves

The SXS project is a collaborative effort involving groups at the California Institute of Technology and Cornell University. Their goal is the simulation of black holes and other extreme spacetimes to gain a better understanding of Relativity, and the physics of exotic objects in the distant cosmos.

Visit SXS project to Listen to Black Holes, Compact Binaries and Collapsing Stars