Astronomy

LIGO Scientist to Give Public Talk on Gravitational Waves

August 1, 2017, 11:01 AM HST
* Updated August 1, 9:33 AM
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Image courtesy of SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project.

W.M. Keck Observatory will present an astronomy talk by Dr. David Reitze of the Caltech Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) on the recent discovery of gravitational waves. The event will be held at the Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy (HPA) campus in Waimea on Thursday, Aug. 10, from 7 to 8 p.m.

The LIGO is the result of a 40-year effort to design, build and operate an instrument capable of sensing the faint ripples sent through space by colliding black holes. Astronomers at LIGO detected the first gravitational waves in late 2015. Dr. Reitze will discuss the challenges inherent in detecting gravitational waves, and why it took astronomers so long to find them. Astronomers at LIGO have now observed the phenomena three times. These detections are said to have “profound implications” for how we view the universe in the coming decades.

The lecture will be held at the Gates Performing Arts Center on HPA Campus. Directions from Waimea town are as follows:

  • From Waimea Town take Lindsey Road (northwest) – Travel 0.1 miles
  • Veer left to Kawaihae Road and continue – Travel 1.9 miles
  • Slight right onto Kohala Mountain Road (at Waiaka Stream bridge) – Travel 443 feet
  • HPA will be on your right hand side.
  • Take the 1st right on HPA Road into HPA campus
  • Continue on HPA Road. On the right hand side you will pass a parking lot in front of Rutger’s Tennis Center, past the Gym and past the Pool. The HPA Road will become steep. Follow the posted “Keck Lecture” signs – Travel 0.3 miles
  • Turn right – Travel 266 feet
  • Gates Performing Arts Center will be directly ahead of you.

Note: HPA is installing electronic gates at both entrances. The gate on the Waimea side will be located by the tennis court parking lot. On the lecture nights, the gate will remain up.
Security will be on hand to assist with traffic and parking control.

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