Naked Astronomy

Naked Astronomy episode

Thu, 25th Feb 2016

The Next Revolution in Astronomy: Gravitational Waves

water ripples (c) Janeke88

February 2016 marks one of the biggest discoveries in cosmology and astronomy: the LIGO team annouced that they'd detected gravitational waves, 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted them. Scientists believe this could revolutionise how we study the universe. But what are these gravitational waves? How were they detected? And how is the discovery changing our understanding of cosmos? Graihagh Jackson finds out...

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In this edition of Naked Astronomy

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  • 03:26 - What are gravitational waves?

    Scientists annouced the detection of these elusive ripples in spacetime but what are they? And why has it taken so long to find them?

  • 07:29 - What have the LIGO team detected?

    Last September, LIGO found a blip on their radars, which they later verified were gravitational waves, but where did they come from?

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The programme talks about the two types of gravitational waves, to add to the confusion there are also 'Gravity Waves' which exist in the Earth's atmosphere which are not related. A summary definition from Wikipedia is 'In fluid dynamics, gravity waves are waves generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media when the force of gravity or buoyancy tries to restore equilibrium.' JohnM, Fri, 26th Feb 2016

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