Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Here's Your Chance to Help LISA Happen!

A depiction of a LISA satellite with its lasers.

I've written about LISA several times on this blog and most of those times the news hasn't been good.  Today I have a bit of encouraging news and a way for you to help!

For readers who've recently found Living LIGO, LISA is a space-based gravitational wave detector that will be sensitive to lower frequency gravitational waves than any Earth-based counterpart ever will be.  Gathering gravitational-wave information from low frequencies will help complete the picture that gravitational-wave astronomy can paint; Earth-based detectors are really only sensitive to the "death throes" of violent astrophysical interactions while LISA will be sensitive to these same sources in their youth.  This youth stage is so long that the predominant noise source for LISA is continually measuring the gravitational waves from these young sources coming from all over the sky at the same time.  This is called the "confusion limit" and it is like trying to listen to a conversation on the other side of the room at a busy party.  This can be overcome, but what a wonderful problem to have! The noise you measure is really just measuring so many gravitational waves at the same time that they mix together!

You can follow the unfolding of the LISA drama through these Living LIGO posts:

In the "News on LISA" (25 May 2012) post, the statement from the eLISA Consortium was that they were going to push for the next launch opportunity.  The European Space Agency has initiated the process to choose candidate missions for the next launch.  The eLISA mission team is looking for your support! 


Please go to the eLISA - Make History page and sign your name as a supporter.  Anyone from around the would can lend their support.  If you are a scientist, you can also opt to have your name and institution listed in the eLISA white paper.  (You can see the ESA's call for white papers here.)

If you support gravitational-wave science at any level, please consider putting your name on the list!  Let's show the world that there is true support for this science!

HURRY!  There are only 2 days (or less) to add your name to the list of supporters! 
eLISA - Make History


The LISA Mission has also created their own YouTube channel and is starting to post some truly exceptional animated educational videos.  Right now, two are available:

Gravity Ink. - Einstein's Gravity (Episode 1)

Gravity Ink. - The Future of Astronomy (Episode 2)

Consider subscribing to their YouTube channel to keep up on new installments (I will most likely feature them here too!).