Friday Night Sky Viewing at LIGO
On Friday, August 13 the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Richland Washington will be hosting Friday Night sky Lights. Come out and look at planets, stars, meteors, and more! This will be a great thing to bring the whole family to! The evening will consist of a showing of the film “Monster of the Milky Way” at 7:30pm, a showing of the film “Seeing in the Dark” at 8:30 and then night sky viewing at 9:30pm for all who are in attendance; the night sky viewing will last until 1:30am. During the night sky viewing there will be telescopes available to look through and see many objects in the night sky whether near or far.
LIGO was founded in 1992 by Kip Thorne and Ronald Drever of Caltech and Rainer Weiss of MIT with the mission of observing gravitational waves of cosmic origin. By observing these gravitational waves scientists are hoping to soon be able to harness these waves to be used in scientific research. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space caused by violent collisions between two cosmic entities. In order for LIGO to be effective in observing the gravitational waves the scientists need to be able to determine where the waves are coming from. For this reason there are a few other facilities being created in other locations throughout the world by scientists for more effective observation of gravitational waves. One of the scientific goals of LIGO is that it would be used for research in the nature of science and that it will open up a new window into the universe thus being a scientific tool for both physics and astronomy.