Gravitational-Wave Astronomy in O3
On 1st of April 2019, the twin LIGO instruments, the Virgo detector, and the GEO600 instrument started their third observation run “O3”, which is scheduled to last for one year. The detectors’ sensitivities have been further increased in the past months and 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 suspended at on 27th of March, 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
AEI scientists expect up to dozens of mergers of black holes and further neutron star collisions. 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 divisions and research groups at AEI
Other relevant divisions and research groups at AEI
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 graviational-wave observatories, their sensitivity curves, and observational horizon distances are available in the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center.