On the second Saturday and the fourth Friday of every month the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory in Richland Washington, also known as LIGO, is open to the public. Come on out at 3:00pm on the fourth Friday and at 1:30pm on the second Saturday of the month for a drop in tour to learn about what takes place at LIGO. No reservations or ID checks are needed and international visitors are welcome. This is a great family friendly event open for all ages and admission is free.
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.