The Story Behind the 100-Year-Old Photos That Proved General Relativity
8:30 a.m. EDT
Room: Salon 1
From 1907 to 1915, Einstein refined his theory of general relativity. But the theory remained controversial until four years later, when astronomers Frank Dyson and Arthur Eddington finally proved that theory by leading two expeditions to take solar eclipse pictures that quantified the gravitational deflection of starlight near the eclipsed Sun. But Eddington and Dyson’s eclipse pictures and astrometrical calculations were not the first of their kind. In this session, learn the history behind astronomical photography and the inventions that made Eddington and Dyson’s eclipse photos possible.
Contact: Matthew Stanley, New York University
Train-ing the LIGO Detector to Ignore the Noise
9:06 a.m. EDT
Room: Marquis C
The world’s largest gravitational wave observatory, LIGO, detects signals from celestial objects like black holes to map the universe. But its galactic focus is regularly disrupted by a uniquely terrestrial problem: seismic activity from trains that rumble by LIGO’s detectors each day. Here, scientists share what they’ve deduced about how these anthropogenic background noises impact LIGO’s ability to pick up gravitation waves and identify what types of events train noise is most likely to obscure.
Contact: Jane Glanzer, Louisiana State University
LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA Ramps Up Its Public Alert System
2:30 p.m. EDT
Although it may be the best at recording gravitational waves from events like neutron star collisions, LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA (LVK) can’t detect any of the electromagnetic radiation that follows these events. Yet, studying electromagnetic and neutrino fallout is just as important for understanding the cosmos. That’s why LVK has a public alert system designed to let observatories and researchers know when it picks up significant gravitational waves. Here, scientists explain how they’ve further optimized this system to make LVK’s fourth observational run in December 2022 even more fruitful for astrophysical research.
Contact: Geoffrey Mo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology