LISA is an astronomical observatory of unprecedented versatility and range.
LISA's all-sky field of view ensures observation in its frequency window of every gravitational wave source, without the need for targeting individual sources. Its coherent observation mode allows resolving and distinguishing overlapping signals and locating them on the sky.
LISA is designed to measure gravitational radiation over a broad band at low frequencies, from about 0.1 mHz to 1 Hz, a band where the Universe is richly populated by strong sources of gravitational waves.
LISA can achieve 10-20 strain resolution by measuring displacements of the order of a picometer. Its observations in the quiet environment of space will not be disturbed by seismic and gravity-gradient noise. Thus LISA's unparalleled sensitivity will allow studying sources within the Galaxy and out to the edge of the visible Universe.
LISA’s wide frequency band — four decades in frequency, equivalent to the span from near infrared to radio frequency in the electromagnetic sector — will enable astronomers to study similar sources of widely different masses and cosmological redshifts.
As gravitational waves propagate unhindered through all regions of time and space, LISA can sense waves from the densest regions of matter, the earliest stages of the Big Bang, and the most extreme warping of spacetime near black holes. In particular, LISA can observe objects that are shielded from electromagnetic observations by other stars or dust, such as binary systems close to or beyond the galactic center.