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Picture of the Day

LIGO readings could improve disputed measurement within 5-10 years

Last year's surprising capture of gravitational waves radiating from a neutron star collision offered a new way to calculate the Hubble constant, which helps tell the size and the age of the universe. A new study estimates that given how quickly researchers saw the first neutron star collision, they could have a very accurate measurement of the Hubble constant within five to 10 years. Gravitational waves offer a unique way to calculate the Hubble constant. When two massive stars crash into each other, they send out ripples in the fabric of space-time that can be detected on Earth. By measuring that signal, scientists can get a signature of the mass and energy of the colliding stars. When they compare this reading with the strength of the gravitational waves, they can infer how far away it is.

Visit Website | Image credit: Robin Dienel/The Carnegie Institution for Science