Gravitational-wave astronomy in O3 and beyond

Gravitational-wave astronomy in O3 and beyond

Up-to-date information on gravitational-wave astronomy and expertise at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover and Potsdam.

On 1st of April 2019, the twin LIGO instruments, the Virgo detector, and the GEO600 instrument started their third observation run “O3”, which ended on March 27, 2020. The detectors’ sensitivities have been further increased in the months before and in previous engineering runs.

In October 2019 after the first half of O3 (called O3a), data taking was interrupted for a full month for maintenance and upgrades at the detectors. The second half of O3 (called O3b) was planned to conclude on April 30th, 2020, but was finished already on March 27th due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results of the first half of O3 have already been published.

LIGO Scientific Collaboration researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam and Hannover and at the Leibniz Universität Hannover are leading partners in the international gravitational-wave community.

LIGO Scientific Collaboration departments and research groups at AEI

Other relevant departments and research groups at AEI

“LIGO/Virgo public alerts” during O3

In O3, possible transient gravitational-wave signals (candidates for binary merger signals) identified by the LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration researchers will be made public in near real time. Data about the candidate, such as type of signal, sky position and estimated distance are published as part of these “alerts”. Professional and amateur astronomers can schedule follow-up observations of gravitational-wave signals based on this information.

Status of the detectors

The current status of all gravitational-wave observatories, their sensitivity curves, and observational horizon distances are available in the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center.


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