A visit to the Glasgow science centre, attending ( David Elder Lectures) on Monday 29th Aug.
We went along to see and hear a presentation by Professor Joe Giaime on Gravitational Waves, Ripples in space.
Professor Joe Giaime is a director of L.I.G.O. ( Laser Interferometer Gravitational Waves Observatory) Livingston Observatory in Louisiana. He is also a Professor of Physics at Louisiana State University, and head of L.I.G.O.
On September 14th 2015, two giant laser interferometers known as L.I.G.O. The most sensitive instrument ever built, detected gravitational waves from the merger of two massive black holes, more than a billion light years from Earth.
The discovery confirmed the theoretical predictions of Albert Einstein made a century earlier.
LIGO estimated that at the peak gravitational wave, power radiated during the final moments of the two black holes merging, was about fifty times greater than the combined light power from all the stars and galaxies in the observable Universe.
Professor Kenneth Strain led the work to create and install a better suspension system for the mirrors, so that our planet's tremors and wobbles could be factored out, and the tiny bends in space and time detected.
Glasgow University which has led the input into the LIGO upgrade.
Other Universities are involved, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, West of Scotland are among dozens of institutions worldwide that have contributed to the effort.
What would Albert Einstein have made of this amazing event?
Quote from Martin Hendry, Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology and Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.
"Not only have we detected gravitational waves, we are witnessing the birth of an entirely new branch of science: Gravitational Astronomy.”
IS THE MILKY WAY SPECIAL
By Professor Chris Lintott.
Professor Chris Lintott as, you will all probably know, from The Sky At Night. He took over the post as presenter from Sir Patrick Moore. He is also the co-
He has co-
Professor Chris Lintott takes us on a journey through the universe using the Science centre full dome visual planetarium.
Not only was his presentation about the Milky Way and beyond, interesting and informative.
He is an outstanding communicator with so much knowledge and understanding and you can definitely see he loves what he does.
Also has a great sense of humour, which also came through in his talk / presentation.
This is some of the information that we learned on the evening.
The Milky Way measures some 100,000 -
It has over 200 hundred billion stars.
The Milky Way Galaxy is warped, the disc is far from being perfectly flat.
It is warped, a fact that astronomers attribute to the two neighbours, the Large and Small Magellanic clouds.
The two dwarf galaxies part of the local group of galaxies orbiting the Milky Way are believed to be pulling on the dark matter in our galaxy in a galactic game of tug-
The Milky Way wasn't always as it is today, it became it's current size and shape by eating up other galaxies.
There is a supermassive black hole at the centre.
The centre of the galaxy is called Sagittarius A.
All the mass trying to get inside the black hole is called the accretion disc, the disc is 4.6 million times the mass of the Sun.
The Milky Way is as old as the universe itself about 13.6 billion years give or take another 800 million.
The universe is estimated to be about 13.7 billion years old.
The disc and bulge itself didn't form until about 10-
We were also informed about the Virgo super cluster, it is just one of millions of super clusters across the universe. they are arranged in long filaments and walls surrounding even large voids of space where there are no galaxies at all. The Virgo super cluster contains more than a million galaxies, stretching across a region of space 110 million light years across.
Our Sun is just one member of the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is part of a collection of galaxies known as the local group.
This contains three large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Triangulum, and Andromeda.
The Milky Way is on the move its moving through space, and that scientists predict that about in 400 billion years from now the Milky Way will collide with the Andromeda Galaxy.