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New Astronomy

A New Astronomy

Gravitational Wave Astronomy

Artist's impression of the laser interferometers on the LISA optical bench. Credit: AEI/MM/exozet

LISA - optical bench

Today we can SEE the beauty of the universe with modern telescopes in many wavelengths. Observing the universe with gravitational waves - a wave type which can be related to the acoustic waves - will allow us for the first time to HEAR it.

According to Einstein´s general relativity, accelerated masses produce gravitational waves – perturbations of spacetime propagating at the speed of light through the universe, unhindered by intervening mass. A direct observation of gravitational waves will add a new sense to our perception of the Universe.

Hence we will for the first time LISTEN to the Universe and

  • survey compact stellar-mass binaries
  • study the structure of our home galaxy, the Milky Way
  • trace the formation, growth, and merger history of massive black holes
  • explore stellar populations and dynamics in galactic nuclei
  • confront General Relativity with observations
  • probe new physics and cosmology with gravitational waves
  • and complement our picture of the Universe and its evolution

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