A second set of gravitational waves have been detected

Readers may recall when we covered the first detection of gravitational waves from space, heralding a new era in astronomy. It was big news. Now, a second detection has been announced.


From NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day: (h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard)

A new sky is becoming visible. When you look up, you see the sky as it appears in light — electromagnetic radiation. But just over the past year, humanity has begun to see our once-familiar sky as it appears in a different type of radiation — gravitational radiation. Today, theLIGO collaboration is reporting the detection of GW151226, the second confirmed flash of gravitational radiation after GW150914, the historic first detection registered three months earlier.

As its name implies, GW151226 was recorded in late December of 2015. It was detected simultaneously by both LIGO facilities in Washington and Louisiana, USA. In the featured video, an animated plot demonstrates how the frequency of GW151226 changed with time during measurement by the Hanford, Washington detector. This GW-emitting system is best fit by two merging black holes with initial masses of about 14 and 8 solar masses at a redshift of roughly 0.09, meaning, if correct, that it took roughly 1.4 billion years for this radiation to reach us.

Note that the brightness and frequency — here mapped into sound — of the gravitational radiation peaks during the last second of the black hole merger. As LIGO continues to operate, as its sensitivity continues to increase, and as other gravitational radiation detectors come online in the next few years, humanity’s new view of the sky will surely change humanity’s understanding of the universe.


Added: I had an interesting discussion with Dr. Leif Svalgaard about gravity that I thought was worth sharing since I found the topic fascinating.

On Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 10:52 AM, Anthony Watts wrote:

I wonder, what is the speed of Gravity waves?



From: Leif Svalgaard

Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 12:04 PM

To: Anthony Watts

Subject: Re: GW151226: A Second Confirmed Source of Gravitational Radiation

The same theory that predicts them [GR] also predicts that they propagate with the speed of light.

Gravitational waves are ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time caused by some of the most powerful processes in the universe – colliding black holes, exploding stars, and even the birth of the universe itself. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, derived from his general theory of relativity. Einstein’s mathematics showed that massive accelerating objects (such as neutron stars or black holes orbiting each other) would disrupt space-time in such a way that waves of distorted space would radiate from the source. These ripples travel at the speed of light through the universe, carrying information about their origins, as well as clues to the nature of gravity itself.

On Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 12:08 PM, Anthony Watts wrote:

Yes, but how does the universe have gravitational cohesion at that speed? Maybe the waves are speed of light, but the effect of gravity across distance must be instantaneous, otherwise how would galaxies manage to form or stay together?


On Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 12:24 PM, Leif Svalgaard wrote:

The effect of gravity is not instantaneous. We know this because the finite speed is needed be make the predicted positions of planets [and spacecraft] come out right.

Galaxies form because the gravity of Dark Matter helps to draw the intergalactic matter together.

See also http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2010/08/25/what-is-the-speed-of-gravity/

Note: several updates were made to this story about an hour after publication, to correct the title, to replace “gravity waves” with “gravitational waves” so that they weren’t confused with the meteorological term “gravity waves” which I’ve always thought was wrongly named, and to add some new discussion I had with Dr. Svalgaard about the speed of gravity. Also added was an illustration. I’m sorry for the issues, I had partially written the story and set it to auto-publish hours ahead, and then I got distracted by a phone call and didn’t complete the story before it published.

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June 15, 2016 1:04 pm

…Anthony, that should be ” has BEEN detected” ?
[Oh, come on! The second response …. and you are already criticizing the editor?
(Besides, what if the gravity waves have already detected something? ) .mod]

Reply to  Marcus
June 15, 2016 1:29 pm

Well, if the Gravity Waves have detected something, they ( the Gravity Waves) should have just come out and told us !! LOL

Reply to  Anthony Watts
June 15, 2016 1:46 pm

…I blame on the Gravity Wave interference.. :o)

Reply to  Anthony Watts
June 15, 2016 2:29 pm

Oops ! I blame IT on the Gravity Wave interference.. :o)…D’oh !

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Anthony Watts
June 15, 2016 2:47 pm

if only he’d fixed it…
(putting away my pedant hat)

george e. smith
Reply to  Marcus
June 15, 2016 3:58 pm

Well see I already solved all of that semantics, by simply calling them Einstein Waves or Einsteinian, if you wish to be adjectival. So now it doesn’t matter a hoot, what they are since they are just what Einstein said they would be; and when all of the doubters have left the building, than we can go back to calling them Gravitational waves.
And to Anthony’s second query.
Gravity sucks, just like pulling on a string sucks. But when you pull on the string, nothing actually needs to be moving, the suck is still felt. Likewise gravity still tries to suck all of the materials it can together, even if the bits are flying apart.
I’m still puzzled by the fact that Einstein waves do travel at the speed of light. I have absolutely NO intuitive feel why that is so, but I also do not doubt it. In one sense that might be the most wondrous thing about the whole business. It certainly leads one to ponder, that ultimately gravity must be intimately related to at least the Coulomb force; so maybe a fully integrated universal theory of the four known forces of nature, may eventually be conjured up.
I would say that the Higgs Bosoneers have been thoroughly upstaged by Einstein “Radiation”.
Dr. Leif and his pals, must be getting no sleep time.

bit chilly
Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 4:55 pm

i like that george, einsteinian .

Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 6:13 pm

The “speed of light” is confusingly named. More accurate would be the “speed of particles with zero mass”. I’ll call it “c”. The reason light moves at speed c is because photons have no mass. The particle known as the gluon, which basically helps keep atomic nuclei together, also moves at speed c because it is massless. Similarly, there is a theoretical (but undiscovered) particle which is thought to mediate the gravitational force, called the graviton. This particle would also have zero mass, and hence move at speed c.

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 8:23 pm

Well the value of (c) which is commonly called the speed of light derives directly from Maxwell’s equations for the propagation of electro-magnetic waves, which in turn rests on the values for the permittivity and permeability of free space.
So no need to invoke anything to do with mass.
But I’m happy to accept your version. Of course it does beg the question: Why would any particle of any species that has zero mass happen to travel at any particular speed whatsoever. I understand how (c) derives from (epsilonnought) and (munought) but what are the parameters relating to gravitational radiation that just happen to give the same value for the speed of such waves ? What does gravitation have to do with munought and epsilonnought ??

Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 10:03 pm

There has to be a “speed” faster than “light”, don’t quantum particles exist in two places at once no matter how far apart they are ? Or am I understanding that the wrong way? I think grav waves travel at “light speed” because they are ” matter” but if quantum particles can be in different places at the same time there has to be a “speed” related to that ( I would call it “existence” rather than “speed”) and faster than light.

Tim Groves
Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 10:09 pm

Why would any particle of any species that has zero mass happen to travel at any particular speed whatsoever.
If you can work the answer to that question out, we’ll be happy to call you George Einstein Smith.
Now, if we move onto the conjecture that altering one’s velocity relative to one’s original frame of reference dilates time, and that traveling at the speed of light dilates time to the point where it appears to have stopped passing entirely relative to its rate of progression experienced by observers in the original frame of reference, does it follow that particles with zero mass traveling at c move between points A and B instantaneously from the standpoint of a theoretical massless observer traveling alongside such particles? In other words, would a conscious massless particle experience no passing of time whatsoever, even on a journey across billions of lightyears?

Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 11:08 pm

Tim, correct. Photons don’t experience “time”.
As for velocity, what speed do waves on water propagate(retorical)? Whatever it is, it’s not based on water traveling (other than up and down maybe).

Stephen Richards
Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 1:45 am

June 15, 2016 at 6:13 pm
Too be really pedantic you should say the speed of light in the medium in which the massless boson travels.

Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 9:27 am

how the heck do planets stay in orbit if gravity moves at c ? I mean.. if the light from the sun takes 8 min to get to us, wouldn’t the ‘gravity’ take 8 too? The more I read of the LIGO indirect observations being claimed as direct observations, the more I doubt what I was taught as fact at uni, and the less feasible it all sounds :/

Reply to  Karl
June 16, 2016 9:38 am

” how the heck do planets stay in orbit if gravity moves at c ?”
Because space is curved in front of the planet already from 8 minutes prior.

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 12:43 pm

June 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm …..”””””
In deep water, if the surface moves up from the neutral flat surface level, it experiences a restoring force due to the earth’s gravity (gravity waves) and that force is constant, independent of displacement for small displacements. But simple harmonic motion requires a restoring force that is proportional to the displacement, and opposite in direction to the displacement.
Ergo, such water “gravity waves” cannot be SHM giving rise to sinusoidal solutions that travel at some fixed velocity independent of frequency. So deep water ocean wave propagation is dispersive, and the different frequencies travel at different speeds.
BUT ! in addition to the force of gravity acting on a displaced surface, there is also a surface tension force, that tries to return the surface to its minimum area condition which is flat.
In deep water, the gravity effect far outweighs the surface tension effect; but as the water shallows, the surface tension restoring force becomes more significant, and results in higher frequency waves travelling even faster.
This causes the wave shape to change from nearly sinusoidal, to a triangular form with the faster waves piling water up in front. This eventually results in the leading edge becoming vertical and tipping over the front of the wave leading to breakers.
Well it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get the general idea. Water waves are quite complex.

Tom Halla
June 15, 2016 1:05 pm

Good to see NASA doing something besides global warming and Muslim outreach.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 15, 2016 6:20 pm

Wait for it … no doubt they are working on the link to human CO2 emissions and are waiting for the right time to declare it.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 16, 2016 2:12 am

… and good to see WUWT reporting on some science instead of the now common-place policital rants from Eric Worrall.

June 15, 2016 1:08 pm

Is there enough time sensitivity with these instruments to make an estimate of the direction from which the gravity wave came?

Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2016 1:19 pm

Generally but not precisely. Louisiana is too close to Washington. That will change when the European LIGO goes on line. The separation is several fold greater, and the three detectors will be able to triangulate. Was discussed in some of the other articles today announcing the second detection.

Reply to  ristvan
June 15, 2016 1:57 pm

Might be interesting to be able to turn the telescopes to the same area and see the after glow of whatever caused the gravity wave.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  ristvan
June 16, 2016 3:24 am

Triangulation from three positions on earth, not with a shred of accuracy. We’d need two satellites light years from earth to create any sort of even remotely accurate triangulation of position

Steve Fraser
Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2016 1:23 pm

Yes and no. With 2 sensors, they can determine a plane. LIGO is collaborating with other interferometry groups that may lead to triangulation.

Reply to  Steve Fraser
June 15, 2016 3:19 pm

This is where instrumentation on the Moon could come in handy. I don’t know why we haven’t put a big telescope on the moon by now?

Reply to  Steve Fraser
June 15, 2016 5:28 pm

why we haven’t put a big telescope on the moon by now
NASA blew its budget with the mission to planet earth back in the early 70’s. Turns out you don’t need a very powerful telescope to view earth. But all those earth scientists studying earth’s climate cost a pile. Something had to go. It wasn’t the climate scientists.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Steve Fraser
June 16, 2016 3:26 am

it matters not, there is not even remotely enough distance to make any accurate measurement.
We’d need 2 more observational stations on two of the the nearest stars to get anywhere near a ball park figure, any claim to the contrary is dishonest at best

george e. smith
Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2016 4:07 pm

The predicted signals for the two different interferometer locations are themselves different, and dependent on the direction the waves actually come from, so unraveling the match to the two signals, comes with a rough idea of a source direction. The two interferometers are oriented differently in 3-D space, due to the earth curvature, so each “antenna” sees the signal coming from a different angle which alters the expected signal.
So they do get a clue as to source location, which may ultimately lead to a visible (Izzat Coulomb Radiation) object being identified as the source. (maybe).

Bloke down the pub
June 15, 2016 1:20 pm

Thinking of how X-rays have gone from a simple plate exposure to 3D computer generated images, it’s going to be interesting to see the use of gravity wave imaging will develope in the future.

June 15, 2016 1:26 pm

Gravitational waves, not gravity waves

Reply to  Anthony Watts
June 15, 2016 4:38 pm

Anthony Watts June 15, 2016 at 1:46 pm
That’s my meteorological bias speaking see: http://www.atoptics.co.uk/highsky/hgrav.htm
I’ve always thought that was the wrong name for that phenomenon.
Interesting Anthony, that little snippet states “solar radiation”? as producing gravity waves?
Sun has a got alot more going on than that that would disturb the atmospheric pond, so to speak.
Atmospheric Gravity Waves
“””..What triggers them? The ‘stones into the pond’ are disturbances far below in the troposphere, for example, wind flow over mountain ranges and violent thunderstorms. Jet stream shear and solar radiation are other sources. An initial small amplitude at the tropopause increases with height until the waves break in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Their wavelengths can range up to thousands of kilometres. Their periods range from a few minutes to days…”””

Reply to  dangerdad
June 15, 2016 1:47 pm

“Gravity waves” are ripples propagating on a fluid surface where the restoring force to the wave motion is gravity. These waves are not the same as the hypothetical waves emitted due to acceleration of mass, which should properly be called “gravitational waves”.
For example, here are gravity waves in the Earth’s atmosphere, i.e. air acting like a fluid:

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Johanus
June 16, 2016 3:28 am

That’s air not gravity that causes that sorry.

Reply to  Johanus
June 16, 2016 10:59 am

@Helsinki Mark
That’s air not gravity that causes that sorry.
Sorry, you are simply wrong. Atmospheric gravity waves (aka buoyancy waves) are indeed caused by gravity.
Gravity is the restoring force for laminar flows of air which have somehow been perturbed vertically (e.g. air moving over a mountain). At equilibrium, air density decreases with altitude. So any upwardly displaced parcels are temporarily more dense than the surrounding air and start to sink immediately, seeking equilibrium. But overshoot equlibrium, of course, creating the oscillating ripples we call gravity waves.

Reply to  Johanus
June 16, 2016 11:08 am

… here’s a graphic example of atmospheric gravity waves

Paul Westhaver
June 15, 2016 1:43 pm

Is this gravity pulse the same in profile as the model often injected to calibrate the system and is it the same in profile to the pulse that was not injected months back?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 15, 2016 2:01 pm

Except for the different masses, yes. It is the rising chirp predicted by the physics and similar to the first detection. This was pointed out in other articles today on the second detection.

george e. smith
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 15, 2016 4:18 pm

The received signal is dependent on the precise event that launched the radiation, and it is different for the two locations. They use massive computation to determine (or try to) the precise parameters of the event that can create both of those signals. It’s a very clever system of unraveling an analog signal using matched filtering.
In effect they have two photographs (or videos) of “something” that went whizzing by. And they are looking at those two different videos, and asking, ” What the hell was that anyway ?”
Only one plausible event can create those two videos. They’ll get better at deciphering these things as they get more of them to look at or listen to, or however one reacts to Einstein waves.

June 15, 2016 2:04 pm

I know the universe is a big place, but to have two sets of double black holes merge within one year says there are a heck of a lot of black holes out there. Maybe we have got the whole missing dark matter thing wrong? Black hole dark is very different than WIMP dark.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  ristvan
June 15, 2016 2:48 pm

Heck of a lot of galaxies out there, each with it’s own black hole(s).

Reply to  ristvan
June 15, 2016 3:01 pm

There are indeed a heck of a lot of BH out there, and BH-pairs and BH mass. The expected detection rate was in the announcement material for GW150914.

Reply to  ristvan
June 15, 2016 3:48 pm

Consider the area of a 10 billion light year sphere. That is a bit over 12.56*10^20 square light years. If you think of a shell that is a billion or two light years thick, you get out to things measured in 10^30 cubic light years. You can cram a lot of “stuff” into that sort of volume.

Reply to  ShrNfr
June 15, 2016 5:11 pm

ShrNfr June 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm
..You can cram a lot of “stuff” into that sort of volume.
Yes indeed..
Which spiral arm of the Milky Way contains our sun?
By Deborah Byrd in SPACE | May 20, 2014
Many know our Milky Way is a spiral galaxy. But where within this vast spiral structure do our sun and Earth reside?
We live in an island of stars called the Milky Way, and many know that our Milky Way is a spiral galaxy. In fact, it’s a barred spiral galaxy, which means that our galaxy probably has just two major spiral arms, plus a central bar that astronomers are only now beginning to understand. But where within this vast spiral structure do our sun and its planets reside? Our galaxy is about 100,000 light-years wide. We’re about 25,000 light-years from the center of the galaxy. It turns out we’re not located in one of the Milky Way’s two primary spiral arms. Instead, we’re located in a minor arm of the galaxy. Our local spiral arm is sometimes Orion Arm, or sometimes the Orion Spur. It’s between the Sagittarius and Perseus Arms of the Milky Way. The image below shows it…
Milky Way Galaxy Collided with Andromeda 10 Billion Years Ago, Astronomers Suggest
Jul 4, 2013 by News Staff
An artist’s impression shows a stage in the merger between Milky Way Galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (NASA / ESA / Z. Levay / R. van der Marel / STScI / T. Hallas / A. Mellinger)
..The Milky Way is part of a group of galaxies called the Local Group. Cosmologists believe that most of the mass of the group is invisible, made of so-called dark matter. They suggest that across the whole Universe, this matter outweighs ‘normal’ matter by a factor of five. The dark matter in both Andromeda and the Milky Way then makes the gravitational pull between the galaxies strong enough to overcome the expansion of the cosmos, so that they are now moving towards each other at around 100 km per second, heading for a collision 3 billion years in the future. But this model is based on the conventional model of gravity and struggles to explain some properties of the galaxies we see around us.
Dr Zhao and his colleagues argue that at present the only way to successfully predict the total gravitational pull of any galaxy or small galaxy group, before measuring the motion of stars and gas in it, is to make use of a model first proposed by Prof Mordehai Milgrom of the Weizmann Institute in Israel in 1983. This theory, named Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND), describes how gravity behaves differently on the largest scales, diverging from the predictions made by Newton and Einstein.
The team has for the first time used MOND to calculate the motion of Local Group galaxies. Their work suggests that the Milky Way and Andromeda had a close encounter about 10 billion years ago. If gravity conforms to the conventional model on the largest scales then taking into account the supposed additional pull of dark matter, the two galaxies would have merged….
Bold emphasis by me..
Just makin some waves..

Reply to  ShrNfr
June 15, 2016 5:52 pm

“The 2006 observation of a pair of colliding galaxy clusters known as the “Bullet Cluster” poses a significant challenge for all theories proposing a modified gravity solution to the missing mass problem, including MOND.” So MOND is generally not an acceptable modification of Newtonian Gravity.

Reply to  ShrNfr
June 15, 2016 7:03 pm

“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Reply to  ShrNfr
June 15, 2016 10:17 pm

I thought we were going to crash together a few billion years from now and it has not happened yet? That pic is a ” virtual” to predict rather than a past event.

June 15, 2016 2:48 pm

Catch the wave.

charles nelson
June 15, 2016 3:48 pm

The are now measuring ‘ripples’ in the ‘fabric’ of ‘space-time’.
These effects are ‘sub-atomically small’.
Sounds very very like ‘astrology’ to me…

george e. smith
Reply to  charles nelson
June 15, 2016 4:22 pm

Well they are actually astronomically large. It is the antenna signal that we can detect that is sub-atomically small.
Come to think of it, Astrology is also astronomically large; as big as the whole damn zodiac.
You can go back to sleep Charles.

charles nelson
Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 9:10 pm

Let me get this straight then…we are on a planet with a massive core of iron or nickel, we have a moon which passes over our heads once a day, and the planet itself is orbiting a ‘star’….orbited by other planets some of which are enormously more massive ours…and all that is happening inside inside a GALAXY…surrounded by other galaxies each with its own supermassive Black Hole?
And these people are saying they’ve ‘detected’ ripples ‘in the fabric of ‘space time’ from a collision event that took place on the far side of the universe…hundreds of millions of years ago?
This event was so massive that it did not appear on any other observational spectra…other than emitting a ‘gravity wave’.
Did I miss anything there?
Maybe the sound of a tree falling in a forest when no-one is around…or maybe the sound of one hand clapping?

Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 6:26 am

You really missed something.

Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 7:09 am

What kind of spectral emissions would you expect to see from the collision of two black holes?

Reply to  george e. smith
June 17, 2016 8:52 am

charles nelson wrote:

This event was so massive that it did not appear on any other observational spectra…other than emitting a ‘gravity wave’.
Did I miss anything there?

If the space between two black holes is empty, I suspect it would be, there wouldn’t be much other radiation source material around the collision. If there is material further out that does respond, any photons can be absorbed by gas and dust clouds between those sources and us.
One neat thing about gravitational waves is that we don’t really have anything that can absorb them. About the only thing that can happen is for them to be deflected by heavy objects.
So yes, we can see gravitational events when no photons could reach us. However, assuming that some do, they could be very easy to miss. we don’t have the telescope capacity to monitor the whole sky at high resolution.
It took quite a while to go from knowing about gamma ray bursts to observing them at longer wavelengths. See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/swift/bursts/supergiant-stars.html

Reply to  charles nelson
June 15, 2016 5:00 pm

I agree, charles . . this is unconvincing to me. I suspect it’s actual deception, frankly.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  JohnKnight
June 15, 2016 6:03 pm

And your expertise to support that opinion is?

Reply to  JohnKnight
June 15, 2016 6:40 pm

I’m a human being.

Tim Groves
Reply to  JohnKnight
June 15, 2016 10:17 pm

From the Big Science community!?

Reply to  JohnKnight
June 15, 2016 10:22 pm

Ad in the fact that global warming is all about 0.1 – 0.2 degrees Celsius ? These measurements are so tiny they are laughable. But it makes me wonder why we are doing this type of research ( like the cyclotron colliders) in the first place.

Reply to  JohnKnight
June 15, 2016 10:56 pm

From the WUWT article regarding the first detection, this link;
‘Here’s the first person to spot those gravitational waves’

“In fact, the signal was so strong that Drago didn’t believe it was real—and with good reason. A gravitational wave from a distance source stretches space by an infinitesimal amount, and to detect that rhythmic stretching LIGO employs two gigantic optical devices called interferometers, which essentially act as gigantic rulers. To test the incredibly complicated devices, LIGO physicists have developed mechanical systems to give them a shake and “inject” a fake signal. The signal Drago saw was so perfect it seemed too good to be true, he says. “No one was expecting something so huge, so I was assuming that it was an injection.”
Here’s where the story departs from the previously prepared script. Injections can be done in two ways: out in the open when researchers are tuning up the machines and secretly when they are taking data. Those latter “blind injections” are meant to keep researchers on their toes. Only four LIGO leaders know when such injections are made, and that information is supposed to be revealed only after a potential signal has been thoroughly scrutinized and written up for publication. That’s how things unfolded in 2010, when LIGO researchers learned at the last minute that a possible signal was in fact a blind injection. So if all had gone as anticipated, Drago might have simply noted the alert and carried on as usual, assuming the truth would come out in the end.”

“The team spent much longer than that making sure they had not somehow been fooled by a signal that had been injected either inadvertently or even as part of some elaborate prank. But such scenarios proved untenable, Reitze says. “You’d need a whole team of insiders with a wide variety of technical abilities,” he says.”
Note the two potentials mentioned there, please; … injected either inadvertently or even as part of some elaborate prank … There is an obvious (to my mind) third potential.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  JohnKnight
June 16, 2016 4:46 am

So JohnKnight our answer to my question is: None.

george e. smith
Reply to  JohnKnight
June 16, 2016 1:05 pm

The gravitational force is incredibly weak. It is many orders of magnitude weaker than the Coulomb force between electric charges.
Early experiments to directly measure (G) in the laboratory used a pair of very large spherical masses, and a pair of much smaller masses forming a dumbbell that could twist on a very thin fused quartz fiber forming a torsion pendulum. I forget the details, of the experiment, but it directly measured the attraction between the large balls and the smaller balls, in terms of the frequency of oscillation of the torsional pendulum. The gravity force between the small and large mass is miniscule.
So these catastrophic collision events result in Einstein waves originating from a relatively small source a heck of a long way away. That radiation presumably diffracts, just like EM radiation does, so it spreads out in some radiation pattern, about which I know absolutely nowt.
By the time such radiation gets to us, it is incredibly attenuated, just as is the solar energy from the sun travelling 93 million miles.
Then that incredibly weak fluctuating gravitational force (ripple) interacts with a pitifully small mass (relative to black holes) in the form of a quartz mirror (I believe), and moves it an unbelievably small amount; sub atomic amount.
Only truly ingenious instrumentation allows that tiny movement of the mirror to be observed and even measured.
But ordinary mortals who can’t even guess how little six inches really is, can not be expected to understand how such miniscule changes can be observed and measured; but now we know they can be.

Reply to  JohnKnight
June 16, 2016 2:43 pm

I’m a mere mortal, and can understand how such minuscule changes can be observed and measured (since I read about it) . . but I can’t for the life of me understand why any sane person would think mere mortals would have trouble guessing how little six inches really is . . or why they would not notice the third potential I mentioned.
But, it seems to me there is a form of human authority worship, which prevents otherwise rational people from realizing those above them in the hierarchy of human authority can be tempted by things like fame and fortune, ideological/political considerations, peer pressure . . and a little six inches ; )

george e. smith
Reply to  JohnKnight
June 20, 2016 3:57 pm

Imagine if you will, a pair of identical twin young ladies. This pair are so indistinguishable, they even have the same fingerprints. And these ladies are champion free style swimmers. In 100 races counting heats and finals, neither one of them has ever been beaten; even by her sister.
if they both race, they always win, and they always dead heat. In adjacent lanes, it looks like s split image of one person, and their heads sit right over each other in the photo finish photos.
So they are invited to a small meet to inaugurate a new 50 meter Olympic size swimming pool.
Just eight entrants invited, so just a single final race. Now their free style specialty is the 1500 meters.
So Jane draws lane one, and Jill draws lane eight, on the far side of the pool.
Again they set off like synchronized swimmers with their stroke for stroke exactly matching.
Well as the race approaches the end, it seems apparent o the crowd, that they are a tiny bit out of synch, And when they finally touch at the end, Jill beats Jane to the touch by a small margin.
The photo finish shows that their caps are separated by about 30 mm; a little over an inch in the 1500 meter race.
Well Jane cries foul and asserts that she swam her heart out, and she knows she was as fast as her sister.
So the authorities decide to get out their laser theodolites and instruments and re-measure the pool.
A cube beam splitter sitting on the start end wall, which is a solid glass insert window, sends a beam to the far end 50 meters away, and a flat mirror, laying on the glass at that end returns the beam to the cube to mix with the transmitted split beam.
Sure enough, the two ends of the pool are not parallel. They measure the start end corner angles, and those are both 90 deg. to better than one arc second, but the far end is tilted about 15 arc seconds or so, so over the 14 meters separating the lane one, and lane eight centers, the pool length shrinks by one silly mm. So Jill was turning 1 mm short of Jane on every lap, and over the 1500 meters, she accumulated 30 mm of an apparent lead. she actually swum a 30 mm shorter race than Jane.
No who could have guessed that one side of the pool was a mm longer than the other. But after enough round trips that short distance movement, added up to an observable difference.
Just imagine how much a laser beam can gain on itself after making hundreds or thousands of round trips in a laser cavity that got shortened by a fraction of an atom diameter, due to an Einstein Wave disturbance of one of the mirrors followed by a later move of the other end mirror.
So just because some of you can’t even imagine how such metrology feats are carried out, don’t assume that other people don’t know how to do it.
Put it down to your ignorance; not their lack of skill .

June 15, 2016 4:00 pm

Truly sincere thanks to Leif and Anthony. It may be too esoteric and complicated for me to pursue but I am rather thrilled at our ability to produce SCIENCE that may lead to greater knowledge and predict the future. I understand some of it. Part of it I must leave to better educated ( and more committed) fellow people. This sort of learning gives me hope for the future.
This is not “snarc”: If all science was so nearly non-political we might solve many pressing problems.

June 15, 2016 4:07 pm

This reminds me of this clip. Do we discuss infinity here?

jon sutton
June 15, 2016 4:29 pm

This all eases my mind somewhat…………… maybe I don’t really weigh 16 stone (224 pounds for our colonial cousins), maybe I’m just a magnet for gravitational waves

June 15, 2016 4:37 pm

“Galaxies form because the gravity of Dark Matter helps to draw the intergalactic matter together.” You make it sound as if this is well-established, which it most certainly is NOT. There is no direct evidence of Dark Matter, and the evidence for Dark Energy took a huge blow last year. Standing outside of Science and watching, as many engineers do, I perceive that MainStreamScientists tend to work a meme to death, getting lots of grants and Professorships, until something knocks it down and they all go off in a new direction.
Professor Brown at Duke called Dark Energy and Dark Matter “Fairy Dust Models.” I agree with him.

Reply to  Michael Moon
June 15, 2016 4:53 pm

Dark matter that does not interact with anything else but just provides missing gravity needed to reconcile a failing model with observations is what is more generally called a fudge factor. Fairy fudge, perhaps.
Fudge is a polite term for another stick, brown substance.

Reply to  Michael Moon
June 15, 2016 5:00 pm

Well, Dark Matter is actually well-established by its effect. I don’t know what you mean by ‘direct evidence’. Here is some ‘good evidence’: http://www.leif.org/EOS/CosmicSoundWaves.pdf and a bit more technical one: http://www.leif.org/EOS/1411-3556-Dark-Matter.pdf “that provides one of the greatest direct proofs for dark matter, such as Bullet cluster”.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 15, 2016 6:57 pm

lsvalgaard June 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Thanks Dr. S., how much more timely could that article have been?
Re: recent images I’ve posted of Milkyway merger with M31 Andromeda.
Haven’t gotten to the Bullet cluster, in the article, that’s what drew me in to begin with.
“””One of uncertainties still is the question of existence
of distinctive separation between the disk (luminous or dark) and the halo.
The size and the shape of the halo in double systems is another tricky question. For
example, a Milky Way halo extends at least 200 kpc and it is getting close to the
half-way distance between the Galaxy and Andromeda, 350 kpc. And if halos are
as large as those suggested by the gravitational distortion of background galaxies
seen in the vicinity of foreground, then the halo of our Galaxy may brush the equivalently
large halo of M31. In addition, few spiral galaxies exhibit a true Keplerian
decline in their rotation velocities.””” [Andromeda (M31)]

george e. smith
Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 15, 2016 8:33 pm

Existence is at least postulated by the observation of a phenomenon, that could be explained, by such an existence.
ANYTHING that EXISTS must be producing some sort of observable effect, which leads us to postulate the cause of that phenomenon. In the absence of any unexplained observation there is no need to postulate that something else must exist to cause that.
So as you say Dr. S, the observation of the effect is itself the proof of the existence of a causal agent. Of what, is where we get to scratch our heads.

Peter Sable
Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 15, 2016 9:33 pm

The distribution of dark matter is the problem. Its distribution is whatever the gravity-based observations say it is… that’s not science, that’s a fudge. There needs to be at least two independent ways of detecting a distribution of ‘dark’ matter or you are just making stuff up.
Personally I’m a fan of the Unruh event horizon theory, it explains a lot of stuff with no fudges and is testable in multiple ways. The summary of this theory is that the minimum acceleration of any object is on the order of 2e-10 m/s due to the limit that Unruh waves cannot go beyond the event horizon of the universe (conservation of information). This explains a lot of things like some unexplained orbital mechanics issues, the Pioneer anomaly, rotation of galaxies and other low-acceleration regimes.
More reading here: http://physicsfromtheedge.blogspot.com/ (see papers linked from there)

Peter Sable
Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 15, 2016 9:37 pm

correction: min acceleration a=6.9×10^-10 m/s^2. I accidentally cited the MOND constant, and MiHsC is NOT MOND.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 16, 2016 10:14 am

How do you decide which studies to believe and which not to believe?
“The surprising substructure of Abell 520 was reported in 2007 from a weak gravitational lensing study based on Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope (CFHT) imaging data. It was surprising because the study found the “dark core” with a significant amount of mass in the region, where there is no concentration of bright cluster galaxies. No conventional understanding of dark matter can explain this peculiar concentration of dark matter. “

Reply to  Michael Moon
June 16, 2016 10:36 am

Science is a highly interconnected web of observations, theories, and [yes] speculation [at the frontiers of knowledge]. Tentative conclusions are drawn that coherently connect the various pieces. From the conclusions models are constructed that provide predictions about what observations should show. If the predictions bear out, we gain confidence in the ‘correctness’ or, at least, the usefulness of our models and the knowledge they express.

Peter Sable
Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 16, 2016 6:19 pm

If the predictions bear out, we gain confidence in the ‘correctness’ or, at least, the usefulness of our models and the knowledge they express.
The problem is there isn’t a good prediction on the distribution of dark matter. It’s just whatever is observed via lensing, rotation, et. al. …. a chicken&egg problem.

Reply to  Peter Sable
June 16, 2016 7:12 pm

Well, observation beats prediction. But Dark Matter is actually predicted, e.g. from the acoustic baryon peaks: http://www.leif.org/EOS/CosmicSoundWaves.png

charles nelson
Reply to  Michael Moon
June 16, 2016 4:13 pm

Svalgaard is indeed a funny one. He resolutely denies any possibility that the Sun affects the Earth’s climate, yet here he enthusiastically embraces the idea that we can detect sub atomic ripples in the fabric of space time!

Reply to  charles nelson
June 16, 2016 5:08 pm

goes by what the data shows.

Reply to  charles nelson
June 17, 2016 1:37 pm

Leif. Can the status of the theory of Dark Matter be summarised as follows? There is an observed phenomenon which is difficult to explain. If there was such a thing as Dark Matter, then it would explain the phenomenon. By assuming the existence of Dark Matter we can make predictions. Those predictions, to date, have been tested successfully. Dark Matter is therefore regarded as a useful theory (until such time as it may be disproved).
To put the above summary into context, I submit the following: There is an observed phenomenon which is difficult to explain, namely, stuff falls when you drop it.. If there was such a thing as Gravity, then it would explain the phenomenon. By assuming the existence of Gravity we can make predictions. Those predictions, to date, have been tested successfully. Gravity is therefore regarded as a useful theory (until such time as it may be disproved).
There have been useful theories in the past which have been disproved, or significantly modified, so there is no suggestion here that a useful theory will not at some time be disproved. Something which people often fail to recognise when using useful theories.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 17, 2016 2:26 pm

No, that is too simple-minded. There are many phenomena that directly show that dark matter exists, i.e. that there exists something which responds to gravity but not to electromagnetism. From the observed density of dark matter we can predict the acoustic baryon peaks, see e.g. http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/BAO-cosmology.html or http://background.uchicago.edu/~whu/intermediate/driving2.html

June 15, 2016 4:40 pm

Interestingly, what looks like a gravity wave on the surface of the sun. Hopefully the like will jump to 8:11 min into the video where the image is shown.
Not saying that I find Dr Robitaille’s claims that this ‘proves’ the solar surface is liquid very convincing since , as Johanus posted above, we have plenty of evidence of atmspheric gravity waves here on Earth.
But the image, courtesy of SOHO is very interesting.

george e. smith
Reply to  Greg
June 15, 2016 8:35 pm

I think fluid is the word; NOT liquid !

Reply to  george e. smith
June 15, 2016 9:43 pm

‘Fluid’ can apply to gas as well as liquid, so I think Mr. Robitaille is intentionally differentiating with his choice of terms there, george.

Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 12:25 am

I think Robitaille is failing to realise that this is fluid phenomenon rather than a liquid phenomenon and incorrectly jumping to the conclusion that this ‘proves’ the surface of the sun is liquid.
He says some other fairly silly stuff without proper analysis and ends with some kind of creationist argument. It looks like his belief system is clouding his analysis and bais confirmation takes over.
However, I find the pond splash on the sun very interesting and I’m sure something can be learnt from it.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 3:29 am

June 15, 2016 at 9:43 pm
‘Fluid’ can apply to gas as well as liquid, so I think Mr. Robitaille is intentionally differentiating with his choice of terms there, george.
Not really if you actually look at the whole piece, transverse waves are not a gas phenomenon. Fluid is often used as a synonym for “liquid” btw, though technically all fluids cant resist any shear force.
So you are injecting pointless assertions into the conversation because? You dont agree with Robitaille?
He is a rare breed, he builds experiments and theories. He’s built an MRI himself and broke the radiological imaging record, doubled it in fact when everyone told him he was mad, was going to fry people, current MRI resolution is down to Robitaille, and as such he has more expertise on how to capture radiation data like CBR than NASA have.
Most of the people who disagree with Robitaille have never been in a lab ironically, he is an empirical scientist and engineer

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
June 16, 2016 1:17 pm

Well the existence of “gravity waves” is NOT proof of the presence of a LIQUID, since any FLUID can exhibit gravity waves.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Greg
June 16, 2016 2:25 am

Yes another inconvenient truth, transverse waves.
Dark Matter is the astronomy joke of this century. It was a desperate attempt to explain why their theory of galaxies was right.
This gravitational nonsense is why they also came up with strange matter, because a new matter not based on physics (like a singularity for black holes) it is “strange”, or more accurately entirely made up from thin air. like dark matter.
Also incorrectly stated is the claim finite speed is needed for calculations, when in fact the calculations rely on finite speed not the universe

Reply to  Greg
June 16, 2016 11:06 pm

Maybe not proving a fluid, but certainly proving not a gas.

Steamboat McGoo
June 15, 2016 4:56 pm

Dark Matter & Energy are just God’s way of being adjectival with us.

John Boles
Reply to  Steamboat McGoo
June 15, 2016 5:48 pm

But God does not play dice with the universe…does she? Maybe these are just pool balls to her. galactic roulette?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  John Boles
June 15, 2016 6:05 pm

There is more evidence for gravitational waves than for a god.

Reply to  John Boles
June 16, 2016 2:17 am

Thanks for the politically correct form of God, but in fact God is now transgender with the ‘preferred pronoun’ being “they” , please try to keep up.
So we should now reword this :
“God does not play dice with the universe…does they. ”
At some stage God will get tired of being screwed around by all these politically correct idiots and take care of the situation in a similar way to what He did with Sodom and Gomorrah.

Reply to  John Boles
June 16, 2016 7:11 am

Depends on who you talk to.

Phil B
June 15, 2016 5:04 pm

I bet US$1Trillion that before my life is out these turn out to be electromagnetic in nature and have nothing what-so-ever to do with the theoretical structure that is called a black hole.
If this doesn’t happen in my lifetime, feel free to come and collect from my estate.

Reply to  Phil B
June 15, 2016 5:11 pm

Willful ignorance is a terrible thing. And diminishes your life as a sentient being.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 15, 2016 5:22 pm

Pseudoscience needs defending….who you gonna call?

Phil B
Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 15, 2016 6:11 pm

I could not have said it better myself.

Reply to  Phil B
June 15, 2016 6:52 pm

Willful ignorance is a terrible thing.
Similar to quantum
According to the definition of a black hole, the orbital speed of any object at the event horizon is the speed of light.
And according to GR, an object at the speed of light experiences infinite time dilation. Thus, any object orbiting just above the event horizon is travelling at so close to the speed of light that it will take millions of years in our time before a single second of time passes for the object orbiting the black hole.
So, how can two black holes in orbit around each other ever merge in our lifetimes, or even in the lifetime of the universe? Why is their relative orbital speeds not near light speed? Why does time dilation not effectively

Reply to  ferdberple
June 15, 2016 8:57 pm

ferdberple, it looks like you got cut off, or was it time dilation? I believe the answer to your paradox is that time slows down for the black holes but not for us outside observers. It’s essentially the problem of time slowing down for an observer approaching light speed. To him, everything outside his vehicle would appear to slow down and almost stop. To us, he’s going mucho fast. So the black holes think they’re circling each other forever, but we see them go “Slurp!”

george e. smith
Reply to  ferdberple
June 16, 2016 1:24 pm

Who said the two black holes were orbiting each other or one orbiting the other ??
They were on a collision course.
The “orbit” of an artillery shell, is (neglecting air resistance) NOT a parabola; it IS an ellipse; but the perihelion is underground on the far side of the earth that the shell can never reach.

Reply to  Phil B
June 15, 2016 7:12 pm

Never make a bet that can be easily won by killing you. ^¿^

June 15, 2016 5:58 pm

The gravity wave’s translation to sight and sound appears to be a hockey stick.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
June 15, 2016 6:08 pm

Perhaps the hockey stick has hit you in the head as you seem to confuse gravity wave with gravitational wave.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 15, 2016 6:37 pm

On line dictionaries allow for more than one application:
“grav·i·ty wave
noun Physics
noun: gravity wave; plural noun: gravity waves
1. a hypothetical wave carrying gravitational energy, postulated by Einstein to be emitted when a massive body is accelerated.
2. a wave propagated on a liquid surface or in a fluid through the effects of gravity.”

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 16, 2016 4:50 am

So you will deliberately continue to use the wrong terminology based on an “on line dictionary”. Stubborn? Egotistical? Or just to be annoying?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 16, 2016 7:13 am

Annoying pedants is it’s own reward.

Gary Hladik
Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 16, 2016 2:53 pm

“Annoying pedants is it’s own reward.”
The proper word is “its”, not “it’s”, since “its” is the possessive form and “it’s” is actually the contraction for “it is”, which wouldn’t make any sense in this–
Oh. I see what you did there.
You’re SO annoying! 🙂

Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 17, 2016 5:13 pm

It is too early to know with 100% certainty which term will be the ultimate choice in the future. The twists and turns that determine Language use are dependent on many factors – including the internet! Know-it-alls on present use may or may not be correct in the long run.

June 15, 2016 6:16 pm

The effect of gravity is not instantaneous. We know this because the finite speed is needed be make the predicted positions of planets [and spacecraft] come out right.
Is that correct? It is my understanding that:
1. Newtonian mechanics are used for spacecraft.
2. Einstein’s solution/correction for the orbit of Mercury was not dependent on the speed of gravity. Rather, Einstein solved the orbit of Mercury as a straight line (geodesic) in curved space.
The actual gravity well produced by the sun is relatively static. It moves slightly as the sun wobbles slightly around the center of mass of the solar system, but Einstein ignored this in his solution, because the wobble is miniscule compared to the time and distances involved.
Whether the wobble propagated instantaneously, or with finite speed, it would have made no measureable difference to Einstein’s correction for Planetary orbits. Thus, Einstein’s corrections for planetary orbits is for all practical purposes were independent of the speed of gravity, which is one reason why it has proven so hard to measure the speed of gravity.

Being and Time
June 15, 2016 6:44 pm

Everybody likes to talk about curvature in the fabric of space-time as if the existence of this space-time fabric has been amply demonstrated, or at any rate could be taken for granted. Then when I point out that there isn’t really any such thing, I’m bombarded with the all-excusing ace of trumps, “Well it doesn’t make any difference because the math derived from the theory fits the observations, and that’s all that matters.” This is preposterous.
Notwithstanding the fact that these “observations” are educed out of statistical noise at the subatomic scale by algorithms which not surprisingly conclude that the manufactured data are best explained by colliding black holes billions of light-years away (which is what they’re programmed to do after all), it is not cricket to claim that, on the one hand, these data validate Einstein’s theory because the theory predicted their existence and, on the other hand, to claim that we know exactly what these data are because that is what Einstein’s theory predicts. This is just flat-out circular argumentation. Nobody has any idea what this signal is. I suspect it is nothing; but even if it is something, it is certainly not a gravitational wave because the latter do not exist.
Furthermore, regarding the idea expressed above that the gravitational force propagates at a finite speed, there is not a shred of evidence anywhere in existence that this is so. In fact, it is fundamentally necessary that gravitational forces act instantaneously; if this were not so then there would be no stable orbits and no coherent description of gravity at all.

Reply to  Being and Time
June 15, 2016 7:21 pm

Being and Time, you are correct that that the effect of the gravity field for non relativistic velocities is instantaneous.
The gravity waves that are being detected are a change in the slope of the field, which does propagate at the speed of light. This is because the masses and velocities involved are massive.
You might also be interested to learn that clocks in satellites in orbit run FASTER than clocks down in the gravity well on earth, where acceleration is more important than velocity relatively speaking ^^

Reply to  jinghis
June 15, 2016 8:50 pm

Yup. GPS satellite orbits follow Newton, but their timing signals must follow Einstein. Else, would be off by about 10 km per day and useless.

Reply to  jinghis
June 16, 2016 9:39 am

I’m going to jump on that claim of atomic clocks adjusted within GPS satellites to fix relativistic errors ..
http://www.gps.gov/governance/advisory/members/hatch/ Ron Hatch (an engineer with numerous GPS patents) has openly stated for years that GPS has nothing to do with relativistic time adjustments.
http://alternativephysics.org/book/GPSmythology.htm Bottom of the page – the error factors are irrelevant as they’re corrected by earth bound reference stations on a weekly basis.
If you work out the claimed 38 microseconds Vs 0ms you’ll see the error is marginal.
the speed of light and EMF through air is not c

Reply to  Being and Time
June 15, 2016 8:16 pm

BT, you are ignorantly wrong. Gravitational lensing has been well established for many decades. Ditto Mercury precession. Both are explained by general relativity, and nothing else. GPS works only because of application of Einstein’s special relativity.
Up your game here, or take it to stupid sites like SKS.

Reply to  ristvan
June 15, 2016 10:48 pm

“Both are explained by general relativity, and nothing else. ”
interesting practical reasoning.
absent a better explanation, we are compelled to accept an explanation that works.

Reply to  ristvan
June 16, 2016 7:17 am

Why not? It’s not like we are committing the future of our economy on the answer.

June 15, 2016 8:00 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the phrase “massive accelerating objects”, doesn’t the word “massive” just mean “having mass”, not “extra-heavy”? If I’m right, the Moon and Earth are radiating gravitational waves too. “Extra-heavy” just comes into it just to make the signal strength big enough for us to detect.

Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
June 15, 2016 8:21 pm

Yes but. GR says that ‘detectible’ gravitational waves only come from supermassive events. Remember, whenever you fall down, Earth also falls up. But Newton’s equations say you will fall down a lot, and the Earth will fall up imperceptibly, owing to the ginormous difference in mass/ inertia.

george e. smith
Reply to  ristvan
June 15, 2016 8:43 pm

I have weighed the entire earth on my bathroom scale. It used to weigh 180 pounds, but now it only weighs 165, but I feel much healthier now.
If I forget to put the scale on the bottom of my shoes before I put the earth on top of it, then the earth only weighs two pounds. I guess my bathroom scale just doesn’t have much gravity, unless I give it some help.

Gary Hladik
Reply to  ristvan
June 16, 2016 3:06 pm

“But Newton’s equations say you will fall down a lot, and the Earth will fall up imperceptibly…”
Obviously you’re unfamiliar with Chuck Norris:

F. Ross
June 15, 2016 9:05 pm

Re: speed of gravity, here is an interesting study which, if I understand the author correctly, implies that some gravitational effects are transmitted at speeds MUCH higher than c.

charles nelson
June 15, 2016 9:11 pm

Let me get this straight then…we are on a planet with a massive core of iron or nickel, we have a moon which passes over our heads once a day, and the planet itself is orbiting a ‘star’….orbited by other planets some of which are enormously more massive ours…and all that is happening inside inside a GALAXY…surrounded by other galaxies each with its own supermassive Black Hole?
And these people are saying they’ve ‘detected’ ripples ‘in the fabric of ‘space time’, from a collision event that took place on the far side of the universe…hundreds of millions of years ago?
This event was so massive that it did not appear on any other observational spectra…other than emitting a ‘gravity wave’.
Did I miss anything there?
Maybe the sound of a tree falling in a forest when no-one is around…or maybe the sound of one hand clapping?

Reply to  charles nelson
June 16, 2016 12:10 am

We also have light telescopes that can see light from stars so faint that the average light bulb would drown them out. We have RF telescopes that can see radio emissions from the universe that any normal radio or TV station emission would drown out completely.
What you might want to do is get an education and learn how we see the events through emissions that yes would drown out those signals.
So your statement is completely imbecilic … did we miss anything there?

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 10:01 am

LDB I too was taught the theories of black holes and so forth while studying physics at university, and I too swallowed it wholesale. It has been some 25+ years since then and I happened to be lying under a car thinking about a lesson in optical physics I taught when it struck me – the latest photographs of the moon exhibited some diffraction but no lensing – and I wondered why not. This led me to thinking that many planets and suns had deep atmospheres and light could simply be refracting through the atmosphere to ‘bend’ through simple optical physics and not because light had mass (something that always troubled me)
At this point I could have gone inside, read a physics text, consoled myself that everything is exactly as I was taught and go about my day, but trained as a practitioner of the philosophy of science and filled with natural curiosity, instead I went looking to see whether these thoughts I had could be disproved – and much to my surprise I found more than a few physicists out there had the same thoughts as myself, and were also unable to disprove this idea.
https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2015/11/26/lensing-by-refraction-not-gravity/ It’s hard to establish an experiment to conclude either way.. I can think of one, but I don’t have access to the material that slows light as much as would be needed (Bose-Einstein Condensate or the vapor of rubidium gas) – all you’d do is determine whether light passing through the media falls toward toward Earth at the standard trajectory you’d expect in a gravitational field rather than passing straight through as it would had it no mass.. Bending light is easy, you just need to slow it a bit .. right? 😉

Reply to  Karl
June 16, 2016 10:56 am

” and not because light had mass”
Far be it for me to disagree, but that isn’t why light is bent, actually light isn’t bent, the light goes straight, it’s space time that’s bent.

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 10:58 am

Or so it is said by Einstein.

Bill Illis
June 15, 2016 9:38 pm

What is cool, is that we now know we can observe/detect these events and when the third observatory in Italy starts up near the end of the year, we will be able to triangulate the exact position of where the events occurred. And then put other space observing platforms on them.
Large supernova impacts and neutron star interactions will be the next targets. Black holes probably merge several times per year within a few billion light years, but there will be dozens of these other events each year within several hundred million light years.
A new window on the universe has opened and it has the most amazing events in the universe in its looking glass.
I also like the fact that there really are black holes in space because nothing else could cause these type of events. And that fact that whole stellar masses are converted into energy within milliseconds. Our Sun will take 8 billion years to emit/lose 3.0% of its mass. We have events here where 100 times as much mass is converted into energy within milliseconds rather than 8 billion years. Someday, we will find a way to make use of the energy that this represents.

June 15, 2016 10:11 pm

Ligo a funding black hole joke.

June 16, 2016 12:22 am

Dark Matter: naming the unknown doesn’t explain it but serves well as the last refuge for the willfully ignorant textbook thumpers.

Reply to  Alexander Feht
June 16, 2016 12:36 am

Internet: Serves well as last refuge for the willfully ignorant layman who thinks someone may care what they think and they matter to the world.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 2:38 am

Who is this someone though?
Einstein would have been one of those “internet theories” had it been around in his day, Neils Bohr, Newton, Tesla, and Darwin and god knows who else would have started out with sharing their ideas online and disagreeing with dogma.
Many of the fantastic claims in astronomy just dont stand up to basic questioning.

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 6:28 am

By using the term “layman” you firmly establish that “science,” in your perception, is no more than some form of a religious dogma or of a bureacratic hierarchy where hollow paper credentials mean more than trying to understand the reality.
As you can see in the posts following your tasteless attempt to silence the dissent, there are many people who care about what I think about, or at least many people who think in similar ways.
We do not have a plausible explanation of the phenomenae that are being arbitrarily called “dark matter” and “dark energy.” It is quite possible that modern cosmology is wrong in some fundamental respects. It is quite possible that Narlikar and Arp (whom even orthodox academic automatons wouldn’t dare calling “laymen”) are right, and that there is a relationship between mass and time that would explain the observable Universe in much simpler and substatiated ways than those proposed by the defenders of the creationist status quo.
In short, I think on my own, and express my opinions. Yes, Internet defeats your attempts to silence the dissent. Good.

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 6:38 am

LdB says:
“Einstein, Neils Bohr, Newton, Darwin all got engineering or science diplomas/degrees and published papers.”
That made me laugh out loud. You really don’t understand, how stupid is what you wrote?
LdB says:
“Tesla complete a university engineering degree but did not sit the final exam and he did publish several informal papers with enough detail for us to at least understand his theory.”
That clinches it. You admonisg others while having no clue. Nobody understands most of the Tesla’s theories (Tesla had no single “theory” of anything). At least try to find a good biography of Tesla, and read it. How ignorant can you be? Amazing!

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Alexander Feht
June 16, 2016 2:29 am

Dark Matter was concocted purely from thin air, literally, to make the calculations work.
Finite speed is also needed to make the calculations work, and some foolishly believe this means the universe requires this finite speed.
Special relativity does not know what acceleration is, General relativity doesn’t know what force is.
Some people cannot understand the implications of this. People with PhDs too, scary

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 6:11 am

Many of the fantastic claims on the internet just don’t stand up to basic questioning.
Einstein, Neils Bohr, Newton, Darwin all got engineering or science diplomas/degrees and published papers. Tesla complete a university engineering degree but did not sit the final exam and he did publish several informal papers with enough detail for us to at least understand his theory.
So what is Mark-Helsinki’s education background so that we could have some confidence he actually has a clue what he is talking about. Published any papers we can reference?

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 10:03 am

you.. you’re requesting someone reply to your appeal to authority?

Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 2:26 am

Incorrect statement in the quote in the OP
“On Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 12:24 PM, Leif Svalgaard wrote:
The effect of gravity is not instantaneous. We know this because the finite speed is needed be make the predicted positions of planets [and spacecraft] come out right.
Galaxies form because the gravity of Dark Matter helps to draw the intergalactic matter together.”
The fact is the calculations actually require finite speed, not the planets and stars.

Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 2:36 am

If anyone really believes both space time is a geometric distortion of space time and at the same time think geometric formations cannot change at both extremes at once should think again.
It is utterly laughable to “believe” that if the Sun just vanished, that earth would continue it’s orbit for 8 more minutes before any effect is detected is hilarious, earth would immediately be thrown into chaos.
At the sub atomic level,things move faster than light, quantum experiments have shown immediately propagated changes, not ones we can predict but certainly appearing to be instantaneous, though not instant but in fact so fast is the information exchanged that we mere mortals see this as instant.
So information is exchanged at faster than light speeds at the quantum level, or sub atomic level.
Why does this not figure into the bunk relativity has left us with,
Relativity has lead to all sorts of fantastical nonsense, binary black holes being the best, 2 objects both with infinite space time curvature orbiting each other, if one doesn’t understand the implication of that for space time theory, I suggest a LOT more reading is needed

george e. smith
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 1:39 pm

Well Mark; what is truly laughable is that YOU would actually believe that the sun could “just vanish” and in fact do it in under eight minutes.
And you think that is a valid test for the speed of gravitational radiation.
If you want to “prove” to the rest of us that gravity travels at infinite speed; or any other value; at least propose a test that is itself a believable event.

Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 2:42 am

Someone tell me which institution spend significant bucks trying to disprove much bunk in Astronomy? None. There is no skepticism in Relativity, dogma all the way.
You can prove this, I already have by pointing out all the contradictions, and all I get in reply is “they said it” and no answers to simple straight forward questions.
Gravitational interactions are information exchanges and there is absolutely no science on this earth that understands the nature of this exchange of information, only lots of trying in vein to understand it.
We cant explain action at a distance, still, and it is the biggest question.

Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 2:53 am

Space is a volume with coordinates, nothing more. It’s not a fabric. X Y Z, we use it to fix a point in a defined space, more making stuff up with maths and assigning physical properties.
This is where the singularity nonsense came from, a singularity was both physical and a coordinate with no physical presence, as in 0 volume.
As for two binary black holes, I suggest some reading on this, there are at lest 4 distinctive black hole theories and this article on here defies some of them as does mainstream theory.
For example, some are static, always there always have been always will. How does this fit in with the Big Bang?
The Universe came from a singularity, that appeared from nowhere apparently. That would have been one massive black hole, but somehow, the energy was too much for the black hole and the universe popped out.
But, nothing can apparently escape a black hole and there was no space time either before the big bang allegedly, complete nonsense.
Now as for Gravitational radiation, gravity cannot create radiation, Gravity only has it’s own energy field when there is a mass to provide it, according to relativity. Otherwise, no mass, then only a static field exists, in other words mass is needed in relativity to make the static space time gravitational field to actually do work, gravitational waves are a distortion of Einstein’s partly gibberish relativity, because his calculations create an empty universe, mass must be added, but seeing as there was no space time outside of the big bang, then there was no static field either.
So even by Dogma, this bogus interpretation of signals is laughable

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 11:58 am

Wrong. Space time is a “fabric”, in that it curves according to Einstein’s equations. 100 years of testing backs this up.
Next time you are trying to find the Starbucks, just remember that your GPS technology depends on understanding this curved space and the precise corrections having been made to account for it:
“a clock closer to a massive object will be slower than a clock farther away. Applied to the GPS, the receivers are much closer to Earth than the satellites, causing the GPS clocks to be faster by a factor of 5×10^(−10), or about 45.9 μs/day.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_analysis_for_the_Global_Positioning_System

Reply to  Seattle
June 17, 2016 11:49 am

on that claim of atomic clocks adjusted within GPS satellites to fix relativistic errors .. (as above)
http://www.gps.gov/governance/advisory/members/hatch/ Ron Hatch (an engineer with numerous GPS patents) has openly stated for years that GPS has nothing to do with ‘relativistic time adjustments’.
http://alternativephysics.org/book/GPSmythology.htm Bottom of the page – the error factors are irrelevant as they’re corrected by earth bound reference stations on a weekly basis.
Next time you read an explanation of Einstein’s theories of gravity ask yourself how a single mass can express gravity and create this ‘dent’ or curve in space – normally the gravity force equation includes *two* masses acting on each other..
And sure, early stargazers wondered what kept galactic spirals in check.. Knowing our planets are kept in check by a large mass (the sun) it was no stretch for them to postulate a similar, very large mass did the same for galaxies. Not seeing a large sun, the postulation became – the thing must be small.. But then it had to have great mass! Still not seeing anything.. Oh, it must be so dense it gobbles up light. After all, what else could it be.. some sort of an unknown thing? That couldn’t possibly be, so they set about mathematically proving such a thing could exist.. simple really, take a mass, divide by zero and you have infinite density 🙂
It’s elegant, but without evidence, and requires more fudges to expound on the theory. But ass someone else pointed out before such a relativistic mass would make images on the further side of a viewed galaxy tilted slightly off the horizontal plane somewhat problematic to view as the light should be doing very weird things and unlike the ‘our-side’ of the theoretical black hole which would be a sea of stars, the ‘other’ side should probably tear drop to a point and not be as we see it –

Reply to  Karl
June 17, 2016 12:55 pm

” And sure, early stargazers wondered what kept galactic spirals in check.. Knowing our planets are kept in check by a large mass (the sun) it was no stretch for them to postulate a similar, very large mass did the same for galaxies. Not seeing a large sun, the postulation became – the thing must be small.. But then it had to have great mass! Still not seeing anything.. Oh, it must be so dense it gobbles up light. After all, what else could it be.. some sort of an unknown thing? That couldn’t possibly be, so they set about mathematically proving such a thing could exist.. simple really, take a mass, divide by zero and you have infinite density :)”
But that isn’t how this ha]ened, they were predicted to exist prior to any real reason to think they were there.
“It’s elegant, but without evidence, and requires more fudges to expound on the theory.”
Again not true, we are now able to see the stars at the center of the galaxy in tight orbits around a super massive object, they can calculate the mass of the object because we’ve been watching the orbits of the stars for a few decades.
“But ass someone else pointed out before such a relativistic mass would make images on the further side of a viewed galaxy tilted slightly off the horizontal plane somewhat problematic to view as the light should be doing very weird things and unlike the ‘our-side’ of the theoretical black hole which would be a sea of stars, the ‘other’ side should probably tear drop to a point and not be as we see it –”
And we do see exactly these types of effects on the very massive of objects, just Google gravitational lensing, there are multiple images available.

Reply to  Seattle
June 17, 2016 11:30 pm

http://lensing.davecoss.com/m31-0lensedimage.gif is suggested as such an image yet the lensing appears in front of the galaxy, by rights every galaxy should exhibit lensing but they do not – but this image is not what I meant, maybe you could point me to an image that illustrates what you mean?
What I means was the light in front (the arms) should not exhibit lensing, but all the stars behind the center should be viewable as focused to a point, much like the perabola-in-a-teacup .. a tear drop
To me, atmospheric lensing is as possible, if not more probable than gravitational lensing. We know optical lensing occurs with light changing speed passing through denser media such as an atmosphere – it’s not totally whacky when other physicists also see it this way too and doubt gravitational lensing, favouring known optical lensing.
But that isn’t how this happened, they were predicted to exist prior to any real reason to think they were there.
you’re quite right it didn’t happen this way, but the theory of galactic spirals also demanded the theory of a ‘holding force’ and my illustration is a simplification.
they can calculate the mass of the object
again true, calculated – but unobserved. It is still very elegant though and a good theory..
We guess something is holding them there and our maths suggest a sizeable thing, but we’ve not seen things falling into this massy thing, nor have we seen the center of any galaxy traveling at the near relativistic speeds that should occur near such a massy object.

Reply to  Karl
June 20, 2016 8:43 am

maybe you could point me to an image that illustrates what you mean?

Here are a few of what I believe are actual images, likely from Hubble.
http://www.roe.ac.uk/~heymans/website_images/abell2218.jpgcomment image

Reply to  Seattle
June 21, 2016 10:02 am

yup, that shows the lensing effect of something in front of one galaxy (of the many) in that image.. lensing that could as easily be formed by light passing through a gas lens. thanks though – none show what i’d expect to see were gravity the cause. Can you see? think of it this way.. if I laid cornflakes across the table and popped a big bowl of water in the middle, those at the back would be visibly distorted while I maintained a clear view of the ones at the front.. If I moved the bowl to the front, all the cornflakes will be distorted as this galactic image is.. Were there a black hole evident in each galaxy, all should exhibit distortion.. emanating only from each center

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 2:06 pm


Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 2:56 am

So who at LIGO will tell us what black holes these are? no one, because they dont know if they found black holes at all, a black hole a signal does not make, let alone two black holes orbiting each other.
Why 2? Because as always whatever the maths requires to work then becomes physical reality, which is exactly what is wrong with modern astrophysics, creating from maths and adding physical properties without having confirmed ANYTHING.

Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 2:58 am

GR and SR cant understand force and acceleration, and these are supposed to be theories that explain everything.
Yet when you ask a boffin, they have to use a theory that GR and SR argue against, as in Newton baaaahahahahaha

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 17, 2016 1:00 pm

” Quasars are also meant to be black holes that eject black holes :D”
No, they are feeding black holes that are ejecting relativistic matter along the axis of rotation, quasar just happen to have the axis pointed in our direction, but we see many galaxies from a different angle, and can actually see jets.

Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 3:10 am

Quasars are also meant to be black holes that eject black holes 😀
When you point out a Neutron star’s physics is boll0cks, they invent strange matter. When you tell them their calculations are wrong for galaxy mass and rotation, they create Dark Matter.
Still one question never answered, why does light not scatter when stars pass our own super massive black hole in close orbit, we have observed, and no changes in light, how is this possible, why did a hydrogen cloud pass by it unmolested? We predicted an event, nothing happened, what did they do.. and here is the example of why Dogma rules
They observed the gas pass by unperturbed and went to their calculations to calculate a force required to prevent the gas being perturbed, and came up with binary stars in the cloud of hydrogen gas, yes if you guessed it, exactly, because they see through their calculations only, that means no other answer can be derived from the equations, it is a newer example of the Muon fallacy, which is using relativity to make calculations to prove relativity. A lends to be to prove A = Logical fallacy

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 3:12 am

*A lends to B to prove A = Logical Fallacy

Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 3:31 am

Relativity couples the gravitational field to it’s sources, this wave claim is a mockery of relativity and science in general.
LIGO are detecting radiation, not gravity. Big difference

Edmonton Al
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 16, 2016 5:07 am

I like your comments. You have a fan, me.
I never could become a believer in the BBT.

Reply to  Edmonton Al
June 16, 2016 6:16 am

Science isn’t a voting contest. Theories fall by falsifying them not by how many people vote for them. Here on this site the 97% consensus mantra is criticized for exactly that reason. Given what has happened in climate science you need to go and get a 97% consensus before we care what you voted for.

June 16, 2016 3:53 am

I would have written “a second set … has” not “have”.

June 16, 2016 3:59 am

I do not believe we can measure a ripple in gravity effect, involving a force 10 ^-34 times weaker than coulomb force and that dissipating at 1/d² around 14191200000000000000000km away (using 1.5bil light yrs).
It is at once astonishing to consider a force of gravity, e.g. holding earth in orbit around the sun.
It is even more of a challenge to imagine that if the sun were to disappear instantaneously, the earth would stay in that orbit for another 8mins or so.

Reply to  Neillusion
June 16, 2016 6:29 am

So lets use your argument. The sun is much closer than a distant star and emits 1 x 10E45 photons per second in our vicinity. So I have no chance to see what a couple of photons per second from a distant star at night.
I am using your logic because the signal is what …. sort of 1x10E-45 times as weak. That is a billion or so times weaker than your example.
As proved by Neillusion ther are no such thing as stars in the sky at night 😉

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 7:34 am

LdB says:
So I have no chance to see what a couple of photons per second from a distant star at night.
You cannot see a couple of photons from the distant star in daytime, when the Sun is shining, not at night.
Not to mention that a distant star emits an enormous multitude of photons, not a couple of them.
Not to mention that you wouldn’t see a couple of photons eveb under the starlight at night, you would need a totally dark chamber to register them (a human eye can register a single photon, but only in total darkness).
Failed analogy.

Reply to  Alexander Feht
June 16, 2016 7:48 am

You can record a few photons per second from distance. What you have to do is accumulate enough exposure time to build a signal above the background poisson distribution, but if you only get a couple photons above background, you need million of exposures, but you can do it, and I have.

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 8:35 am

No it’s not a Failed analogy Alexander it the exact same thing. The light strength from star is tiny compared to the sun which exactly the same comparison he made.
What you did was realized that night screens the signal as you have considerably more intelligence than Neillusion. The background noise level of light get suppressed by the earth creating a shadow and you can magically see the stars totally ignoring the difference in the signal levels.
Nowhere in Neillusions post did he he talk about screening or filtering the signal, it was a fact based solely on the signal strengths and that is all we needed to know.
LIGO does exactly the same trick so it can see such a small signal. Now I am willing to bet you Alexander that Neillusion won’t go and read how it’s done.

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 8:57 am

Nope, your ratios (sunlight/starlight vs. local gravity/gravity from 1.5 billkion light-years) are incomparable by many orders of magnitude.
It’s a useless conversation, anyway (as Han Solo used to say).

george e. smith
Reply to  Neillusion
June 16, 2016 1:48 pm

No Neillusion. What is truly a challenge is to understand just how the sun would disappear instantaneously.
Can you give us a link to some peer reviewed paper that reports on the observation of the instantaneous disappearance of a star ??

June 16, 2016 7:25 am

From the Einstein’s beautiful formula it follows that:
Time equals a square root of (Energy divided by (Mass multiplied by the Distance squared)).
Therefore, red shift is a measure of time change (the more mass, the slower is the time; the more distance, the slower is the time), not of some mythical accelerating expansion of the Universe (which is impossible, because the Universe in infinite until proven otherwise experimentally, which is, in turn, impossible). And the whole pyramid of creationist fairy tales, the Big Bang Theory, crumbles down.
Granted, I am a music composer and a translator, not a scientist, but Dr. Jayant Vishnu Narlikar (famous mathematician and astrophysicist) is, and he comes to the similar conclusion (time equals mass divided by the constant “a,” which he defines on the basis of empirical observations). In the long run, Fred Hoyle shall be vindicated.
P.S. LdB (above) is trying to wriggle out if the trap he created for himself by appealing to the feelings of skeptics facing the “global warming consensus” argument, without realizing that Big Bang, Dark Matter and Dark Energy are all expressions of the dogmatic “consensus” as much as “anthropogenic climate change” and “anthropogenic global warming” hoaxes. Et voila! Another trap.

Reply to  Alexander Feht
June 16, 2016 8:47 am

Alexander perhaps you need to read more … here are some poles for you
The numbers are fairly consistent belief in Big Bang runs at 15-25% in the population depending on country
The numbers for dark matter lower again
The numbers for dark energy lower still.
So I am not sure how you call that a consensus and dogma, the view is clearly in the minority which is why so much of this appears on WUWT.
So your challenge is to show me any pole of the general population that shows Big Bang belief as a majority.

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 9:05 am

I suppose you are talking about “polls,” not about the inhabitants of Poland.
BBT dogma exists among state-funded cosmologists, anthropogenic catastrophic climate change dogma exists among state-funded climatologists.
I am not interested in polls. General population beliefs are irrelevant here.
The same source pays Pied Piper in both cases:
A wondrous portal opened wide
As if a cavern suddenly hallowed,
And the Piper advanced and the children followed…

Reply to  LdB
June 16, 2016 12:04 pm

Right so now your consensus is created by reducing the set to people that you label state-funded (whatever that means) and I suppose its a giant conspiracy. So I guess there is consensus that there is only one true god Allah, you just have to select the set of people right. You might want to be careful using that consensus at the moment, but it is equally valid as your consensus.

Reply to  LdB
June 17, 2016 3:08 am

LdB, I never claimed to represent any consensus. You did.

June 16, 2016 7:46 am

“When I became a student of Sir Fred Hoyle, cosmology was a subject most people wanted to work on, but today if some students asked me if they should work on cosmology I would not be very encouraging. The reason being this particular aspect of cosmology, that is theory has become more like a religious dogma. If you believe it it you prosper, if you do not believe in it the chances of your success are very low. This should not happen, there should be a possibility of, what I would call ‘the freedom of speech’ or ‘freedom of action’. People who do not like where the present cosmology is going should have a podium or a stage to voice their difficulties. In the 60’s this was possible but it’s not possible now. It can be rectified by allowing more freedom of speech.”
— Dr. Jayant Vishnu Narlikar

June 16, 2016 8:02 am

How about somebody switched on a gravity drive? Here, locally 🙂

Bob Kutz
Reply to  Gaetan Jobin
June 16, 2016 11:32 am

Re; Gaetan Jobin
June 16, 2016 at 8:02 am
(I told you, nobody’s supposed to know . . . )

June 16, 2016 11:58 am

“I know the universe is a big place, but to have two sets of double black holes merge within one year says there are a heck of a lot of black holes out there.”
Yes, like many commenters before me said, there are. But there are different assumptions about WHY there are. One of my favorite is “The amazing thing about enormous numbers (of distance, objects, time, etc.) is that they mean that anything that CAN happen, no matter how vanishingly small the probability of it, WILL happen! Not only that, it will happen a LOT!

June 16, 2016 1:49 pm

Actually this would be the third set of gravity waves. The first set has been monitored world-wide for many years:

June 16, 2016 5:26 pm

fractional difference in weight (e.g. you) due to sun (nightside vs dayside) is approx 3^-8. The sun is 150 000 000km away, 1/dxd factor for G is ~2×10^-15.
2 black holes say 10x mass of sun, distance 14 191 200 000 000 000 000 000km, 1/dxd, is ~2×10^-43, take to 2×10^-42.
So the effect of the black hole merger is 10^-27 (-42- -15) smaller than effect of sun on us (already miniscule, order of 10^-8), now add in the fact that the change that forms the ripple, due to motion of black holes, is significantly smaller, by several orders of magnitude again, than this even.
The math is approximate, but illustrates the ball park.
Gravitational force between two 1kg masses, 1m apart is .000 000 000 0667N (googled). I guess that the g force changes arising from a bouncing ball in the vicinity of the building would be easier to detect by orders of magnitude. I haven’t done the math for that but the numbers I first gave are the influence on my thinking and believing that they have not measured the gravity signal of two merging black holes. The coulomb force (rather different to e.m. radiation ‘pulses’) is 10^34 bigger than gravity. I would guess, as a previous comment made much earlier, that some electric effect, perhaps from electric plasma discharges in our own galaxy, has (much) greater effect and was detected. Could be a charged body (comet) approaching a neutral body, rapidly discharging surplus charge, faster and faster as it approaches and perhaps strikes neutral body.
I gave the thought expt of sun disappearing in an instant and gravity lasting another 8mins being very hard, no impossible, for me, to get my head around. Much easier to ‘see’ that light would keep coming for another 8mins since the light ‘corpuscles’ set off and keep going, photons are independent entities once emitted (for the sake of this issue, anyway). It highlights the fact that no-one has detected the graviton, the gravity force mediator – why can’t we do this? Is it too small? These are just a few signs that make me question the claims, even that G travels at speed of light, and challenge the idea that we can detect infinitesimally small gravity effects at such a distance.

Dr. Strangelove
June 16, 2016 9:06 pm

“as other gravitational radiation detectors come online in the next few years, humanity’s new view of the sky will surely change humanity’s understanding of the universe.”
It will not change physicists understanding of the universe. Einstein predicted it 100 years ago and his theory was confirmed by Eddington’s solar eclipse observation in 1919. General relativity was established even before Hubble discovered there are galaxies aside from the Milky Way. The bigger discoveries are dark matter and dark energy that physicists still don’t understand exactly what they are.

June 16, 2016 10:15 pm

No such thing as “Dark matter”. Never been observed. Doesn’t exist. It’s a fudge factor to get their “model” to work.
I get the sense that all they have here is a “needle” moving on a piece of “test” equipment and their assessment is that their brand of “Spaghetti Monster” did it.
That’s not science.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  J.H.
June 17, 2016 2:52 am

The problem is their “model” is Newtonian mechanics. If dark matter doesn’t exist, Newtonian mechanics is in trouble. Almost all physicists would rather postulate there is something out there they could not see than conclude Newton’s laws are wrong because that would contradict all the astronomical observations that agree with Newton’s laws.

June 17, 2016 3:45 am

there is nothing wrong with the established general idea that there is something of mass or perhaps energy that cannot be seen, and quite a lot of it. We can only see stars because they are burning and sending out light that we pick up. There are lots of other things out there and many things unknown I’m sure. There are for instance cosmic electric plasma currents with huge magnetic fields that could have the ‘mass’ive effect attributed to dark matter. 99.x % of the universe is plasma. The name ‘dark matter’ is simple but has taken on a fudge factor identity that attracts criticism as being fairy dust/matter that must be in the fantasy mind of scientists to magically explain away their error. I questioned/suspected this at first but on deeper examination, it is as regular and real as expecting another planet in the solar system due to unexplained anomalies in the orbits of other planets. It is nothing like a magic fudge as many suggest. The cosmic microwave background, big bang and expanding universe is much much more suspect.

June 17, 2016 1:41 pm

Question: Was this latest gravity wave accompanied by a gamma-ray burst?

Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 18, 2016 6:06 am

Mike Jonas June 17, 2016 at 1:49 pm
From the article in your link..
Two neutron stars collide and you get the gamma ray burst.
Two blackholes merge (collide) and you get gravitational wave.
…But in terms of light, or electromagnetic radiation, the types of masses spiraling in are predicted to result in very different outcomes. If two neutron stars inspiral and merge, the collision of their surfaces will lead to a complex, runaway fusion reaction, emitting an extraordinary amount of energy in an extremely short amount of time. This type of event, which LIGO is now sensitive to out to a few hundred million light years, is the suspected origin of short-period gamma-ray bursts. One of the main science goals of gravitational wave astronomy is to work with observatories such as ESA’s INTEGRAL and NASA’s Fermi satellite to measure both gravitational waves and high-energy radiation from these events simultaneously.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 19, 2016 8:27 pm

I asked because, if I remember correctly, the first detected gravitational wave was reportedly accompanied by a gamma-ray burst within some fraction of a second. Also, again if I remember correctly, there was some dispute over this. So I was interested to know whether a gamma-ray burst had accompanied this gw. Its existence or not may possibly resolve something???

Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 19, 2016 8:39 pm

GRBs are thought to be the beam off the axis of a feeding blackhole(iirc), but we don’t see them unless the beam is pointed towards us, so not find a grb might not be all that unusual.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 20, 2016 2:09 am

@Mike Jonas:
The Forbes story has it about right in all respects: several papers were published in short order after the one which alleged a link between the 1st LIGO “sighting” and a possible GRB. Upon further review, these additional findings blew up any real chance of a connection between most/all GRBs & LIGO-observable GWs, and no such connection is expected in the future.
For example, one paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.04156) found that the “total probability of the [LIGO] source being spatially coincident with our fields [of observation] was finally only 4.2 per cent”, and the transients they found “appear to be fairly normal supernovae and AGN variability and none is obviously linked with GW150914.” The bulk of the work done since then has continued to confirmed the null hypothesis, i.e., that there was no correlated GRB (or other EM-observable event) for either of the two LIGO events.

June 17, 2016 5:47 pm

lsvalgaard June 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm
Well, observation beats prediction. But Dark Matter is actually predicted, e.g. from the acoustic baryon peaks: http://www.leif.org/EOS/CosmicSoundWaves.png
Sorry Dr. S., that link gave a, “404 Error File Not Found”
But this is pretty good. The “bullet cluster,” turned out to be pretty cool. Now what’s that little swirly betwixt the two clusters and where is that going? lol
The title of the image below is the bomb. lol
The Matter of the Bullet Cluster
Composite Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/ M.Markevitch et al.;
Lensing Map: NASA/STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan/U.Arizona/ D.Clowe et al.
Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.;
“””Explanation: The matter in galaxy cluster 1E 0657-56, fondly known as the “bullet cluster”, is shown in this composite image. A mere 3.4 billion light-years away, the bullet cluster’s individual galaxies are seen in the optical image data, but their total mass adds up to far less than the mass of the cluster’s two clouds of hot x-ray emitting gas shown in red. Representing even more mass than the optical galaxies and x-ray gas combined, the blue hues show the distribution of dark matter in the cluster. Otherwise invisible to telescopic views, the dark matter was mapped by observations of gravitational lensing of background galaxies. In a text book example of a shock front, the bullet-shaped cloud of gas at the right was distorted during the titanic collision between two galaxy clusters that created the larger bullet cluster itself. But the dark matter present has not interacted with the cluster gas except by gravity. The clear separation of dark matter and gas clouds is considered direct evidence that dark matter exists.”””

Reply to  Carla
June 17, 2016 5:51 pm

A good test of whether people actually go have a look. Obviously, most don’t care to; totally happy in their [unfounded] beliefs.
The link should, of course, be: http://www.leif.org/EOS/CosmicSoundWaves.pdf

June 17, 2016 6:07 pm

For all us lightweights in the room just trying to get a grip on all this stuff..
See nifty image on page 11 of the article below, depicting the departing Bullet Cluster …
4. Gravitational lensing
Another evidence for DM existence and another method of measuring matter distribution
in galaxies and clusters comes from gravitational lensing. For studying gravitational lensing in the beginning the most luminous clusters were selected.
However, in modern times there are many clusters detected solely by lensing effects.51
Recent observations of Bullet cluster reveal separation of visible matter,
ICM and dark matter halo, which were individually located using X-ray observations
and lensing technique. This is why Bullet cluster is often cited as one of the
best astrophysical evidences for dark matter models….
Page 11
…More famous example, Bullet cluster
1E 0657-558, on the contrary, shows distinct offset of X-ray emitting hot gas
from dark matter halos inferred by weak lensing method.67 This is a pair of galaxy
clusters (figure 3), where the smaller (7 × 10 13 M) subcluster (bullet) is just exiting
the collision site, away from a 2 × 10 15 M cluster, almost tangentially to the
line of sight. A prominent bow shock gives an estimate of the subcluster velocity,
4500 ± 1000 km/s. The optical image shows that the gas lags behind the subcluster
galaxies. The weak-lensing mass map reveals a dark matter clump lying ahead of
the collisional gas bullet, but coincident with the effectively collisionless galaxies.
The hot X-ray gas has been separated by ram pressure-stripping during the passage.
This separation is only possible if the dominant mass is in the collisionless component,
i.e. in the non-baryonic dark matter halo, not in the baryonic X-ray gas. From
these observations, one can directly estimate the upper limit on cross-section of the
dark matter self-interaction,….

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Carla
June 18, 2016 2:05 am

Except light lensing is caused by actual matter not gravity, plasma, molecular clouds.
All of the claimed lensing effects of Einstein rings are better explained and repeatable in the lab, refraction by plasma. Also the examples have the same light colours typically, which also asks a question, light lensing wont change light colour, refraction does change light colour.
So you have one with nothing but mathematics for evidence and the second much more scientific explanation can be tested.
Furthermore, if space time is a fabric, light must travel the geometric path, as space time is the very medium through which it travels, we are supposed to believe light only travels the road when it chooses?
As such light will always traverse “space time” in this theory yet it does not, and relativists have to invoke Newton to try explain why, but Newton’s gravity does deal with force, General Relativity cant explain force, as gravity is geometric. This switch to Newton’s forces is done quite disingenuously, to plug the obvious holes.
Your long quotes read as “we have never found it and are interpreting everything through our theory we wont let go” 😀
The calculations never considered the abundance (a well established abundance at this point) of plasma both visible and invisible. Major evidence is the stars that form along strings of plasma, we are talking amounts we cant even calculate.
APEX telescope
Dark Matter doesn’t emit radiation it’s a fiction, end of bloody story, something that does not exchange information in a way we can measure, cannot be held to be a valid hypothesis. All there are are interpretations of abstract effects we understand little of, and born of the very theory they are seeking to confirm, like Muons lol. Muons had to be calculated with Relativity so a wrong answer could never be produced, yet this passed as “science”.
Also I debunked light lensing above if you read, we have observational evidence in our own Milky Way. Stars passed in close orbit to a supermassive black hole and also a cloud of hydrogen passed by unmolested. This is what we observe over what we think, so everyone concerned avoids these extremely important observations because they are diametrically opposed to the theory.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 18, 2016 2:08 am

Dark Matter must be 100% reflective for a start to not interact electromagnetically, and does not experience radioactive decay.
Yep, complete fantasy.

Mark - Helsinki
June 18, 2016 2:16 am

As for the two orbiting black holes, given the very definitions of black holes, two orbiting black holes violate the very definition of a black hole. BHs are described as having no boundaries and infinite space time curvature (which by the way is infinite gravity – Infinite not a number, and infinite gravity ludicrous, no universe) so you have infinite space time curvature points spinning around each other? It just gets totally ludicrous when you examine what these clowns are claiming
The very people in general who support the idea of black holes generally do not understand there are 4 or 5 definitions and the details of those definitions.
“Black Hole” the basic theory has departed from science, it’s a held assumption now like AGW. No one tries to break it.
Please read up on the tragedy of what they do to save theories and the Neutron Star is a perfect example of self delusion, when what they interpret defies physics, do they go back? no, they invent new matter out of thin air, with mathematics.

Mark - Helsinki
June 18, 2016 2:21 am

If light lenses the way claimed (by space tame curvature, not force remember if you are a relativist) images like this would be full of evidence.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
June 18, 2016 4:44 am

M-H, They are there, you just can’t see them in such a wide field of view (~1-2 arc minutes) of small (stellar), close (250,000ly or closer) objects. It’s like trying to say “We can’t see any white blood cells in this image of several test tubes of blood taken through a set of binoculars.” The response is “Well, duh!”
Try doing an image search for “Einstein rings” or “Einstein arcs.” Then try checking every last one of the references for the Wikipedia entry which covers all the different ways Relativity (General & Special) has been validated. (Here’s a hint: your smart phone had to be engineered & constructed with BOTH in mind in order to even function.)

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 18, 2016 2:41 am

Earlier, george e smith said:
“The gravitational force is incredibly weak. It is many orders of magnitude weaker than the Coulomb force between electric charges….”
For those interested, the Electro-Magnetic (EM)force is only greater than the force of gravity over short distances. This is due primarily to the fact that the EM force tapers with distance much more rapidly than gravity. Also contributing to this is that the EM force can easily be blocked/attenuated by intervening material; gravity (G) & gravitational waves (GW) cannot. (This makes GW largely immune to such things as diffraction, refraction, or reflection… effects to which every other kind of known radiation is subject.)
In the same way, the Weak (W) & Strong (S) forces are MUCH stronger than the EM force. However as with EM & gravity, their strength also tapers off much faster over distance than EM does. As a result, W & S are really only applicable at distances on the scale of atomic to sub-atomic particles; anything beyond that scale is overwhelmed by EM, and then eventually by G.
Bottom line: S, W, EM & G are listed in order from strongest to weakest, but that same order also describes which force is dominant at increasing scales of distance. Ignorance (accidental or intentional) of this relationship among the fundamental forces of nature can (& often does) give rise to — I’ll go with alternative — ideas of cosmology such as the Electric Universe, but such ideas are often quickly shot down by empirical observations, many of which don’t even require a telescope.
GES also said earlier:
“ANYTHING that EXISTS must be producing some sort of observable effect, … the observation of the effect is itself the proof of the existence of a causal agent. Of what, is where we get to scratch our heads.”
Absolutely spot on!

Joel Shore
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 18, 2016 6:06 am

Smokey: Your are incorrect when you say “This is due primarily to the fact that the EM force tapers with distance much more rapidly than gravity.” In fact, both the gravitational and electric forces have the same dependence on distance r, falling off as 1/r^2. The reason why gravity tends to be more important on large scales and less important on small scales is that large scale objects tend to be very massive and very nearly electrically-neutral. At the other extreme, small objects such as the elementary particles like and electron or proton tend to have very small mass and a much larger charge-to-mass ratio.

June 18, 2016 4:05 am

Smokey, the em force is incredibly stronger than gravity over all distances, the equation itself doesn’t change if you put a big number in it. Your statement is misleading. What we do find is that the coulomb force is seen by us to operate over small distance, relatively speaking, because imbalance of charge we see, lightning, etc., or create, capacitors, batteries, etc., is quickly rectified by nature, e.g. sparking, discharges, currents – and this because the force is so incredibly strong. It is this way all over the universe, so between great masses in same, there is can never be a huge imbalance of charge, so no significant coulomb forces over those distances. A 5g teaspoon of electrons on earth would attract a 2kg mass bag of protons on the sun with a force of 10 000Kg, i.e. that 5g teaspoon on earth would only stay on earth if weighed down with a 10 ton truck, say. Obviously 5g electrons in one space is impossible, the atomic bomb shows what happens when you mess with imbalance of charge. This, to clarify, is why we don’t see coulomb forces over huge distances, because there does not exist an imbalance of charge over such distances that would give rise to those forces. It is possible that plasma ejections from quasars, etc., electrons in one jet and protons in the other could be interesting, but I don’t think that has been detected, yet.
There is a huge amount of stuff out there we just cannot see, it does not emit or reflect enough light for us to see it. However good our instruments, there’s a lot we just cannot see, nor see the local effect of, hell we can’t even spot large asteroids in our own solar system until conditions are just right. This matter, very real and detectable under the right conditions comes under the term dark matter just as much as the more exotic, imaginary or otherwise stuff.
To correct my earlier 10^34 factor error, the comparison of the coulomb force to(over) force of gravity between an electron and a proton is 2 x 10^39.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Neillusion
June 18, 2016 4:36 am

Your figures are ONLY accurate at atomic distances; the fall-off of the EM force over distance at BEST is two orders of magnitudes greater than that of gravity. In other words, changing the distance absolutely does affect the EM force more than it does for G, it’s something you can test empirically in your own garage.
Make sure you’re using the right equations, and (less importantly) like/matching units; those two things can be a big trap for the unwary.

Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 18, 2016 6:18 am

Neillusion is absolutely correct. We actually have students do this calculation in the Introductory Physics class after we first introduce Coulomb’s Law (that describes the electrical force between two point charges).

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 18, 2016 7:12 am

@ Joel Shore: You guys aren’t doing the math wrong; you’re doing the wrong math.
I see what you’re trying to say about charge/mass ratios, but that’s really only part of the problem. The base problem is the use of those motionless 2-point charge equations to describe something that can in no way be describe as a 2-point motionless charge, and then on top of that comparing them to gravitational equations that assume one is working in 1 Earth gravity a la Newton.
I have no argument w/Coulomb’s Law, or with the math you’re having people do, I’m simply saying that those aren’t the right equations to use to describe, e.g., why the force of a magnet on a given object decreases so much more rapidly with distance than gravity does.

June 18, 2016 4:24 am

Also just to complete the picture, the coulomb force to (over) gravity force between two protons is 1 x 10^36 and between two electrons 4 x 10^42

Lars P.
June 18, 2016 5:08 am

OK, if we can observe black holes merging should we not visually observe also stars merging (or close to be merging?)?
I would guess there are much more stars out there then black holes?
Have any binary stars been observed which come close to the definition of a potential ‘soon’ merger? With soon I mean in astronomic times…

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Lars P.
June 18, 2016 6:04 am

@Lars P.: The answer is, unhelpfully, “yes & no.” The Bottom Line Up Front is that stellar mergers are likely much more common than black hole mergers, but are still not exactly “common,” and most are too dim to see from Earth, even those located within our own galaxy. Meanwhile, LIGO and other follow-on instruments (holding my breath figuratively for the LISA mission) should eventually be able to detect black-hole mergers like the ones we’ve seen so far (we think!) from most of the observable universe, more than making up for their comparative rarity. This will very possibly render black hole mergers more apparent to us than stellar mergers for quite a long time… which in a way makes sense, since they are very much more powerful events and so should be “visible” from a much, much wider portion of the universe.
I’ll post the discussion below in case anyone’s interested in yet another typically long Smokey post. +_+;;;

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 18, 2016 6:34 am

It is assumed based upon observations that there are many more stars than there are black holes (stellar mass or otherwise) in the universe. Observation of stars in our own galactic neighborhood indicates the majority of stars we can individually resolve are found to occur in bound orbital systems of two or more stellar objects at a time (binaries, trinaries, and so on). This being the case, we do see many binary stars (~40%-50% of those observed, by some estimates), some of which are expected to merge in the not-too distant (cosmologically-speaking) future. Nevertheless, space is big, and most stars are nowhere merging, even in closely orbiting binaries (<1AU).
(See here, for one example of a pair that might be merging sooner rather than later: http://metro.co.uk/2015/10/21/kiss-of-death-telescope-spots-two-stars-so-close-they-are-merging-5454095/)
Being the big plasma/gas bags that they are, an observed stellar merger is thought likely to be a bit showy in the local neighborhood, but even a merger of large stars would be hard to visually catch & verify at distances greater than say, from here to one of the Magellanic Clouds. Such a merger would also not be nearly as energetic as the merger of neutron stars, let alone of black holes. The latter especially are comparatively rigid objects which merge in a matter of seconds to milliseconds, whereas stellar objects are much more fluid — two very large stars becoming a single homogenous mass could take weeks+ in a process which would almost certainly trigger super-nova explosions and the formation of a black hole even before fully completed.
As a mental image for comparison, imagine two pair of small objects orbiting at close proximity in otherwise empty space. Now imagine that the first pair is, say, two 20 kg clumps of Jello pudding, and the second is, say, two 20 kg bricks: assuming sufficient attraction (maybe they have opposite magnetic charges to help out? Sure, why not!), the first pair will slosh and splash and eventually wobble into a single unit, while the other will more or less instantly bump together to form a single unit out of two. The former is something like stellar mergers, the latter something more like black hole mergers.
Another understanding from observations of binary pairs is that it is quite common for a large (say, red giant) star to have a much smaller companion (say, a white dwarf) as a partner. When these two objects get close enough, the dwarf star sucks material from the outer atmosphere of the larger companion producing novae which are used as "stellar candles" due to their predictable brightness. But what's REALLY weird is that it should be theoretically possible to have the smaller (much hotter & more rigid) companion orbit the larger star while brushing up against the outer layers of the larger one's stellar atmosphere — or weirder still, totally inside the surface of the larger star! Sadly, we haven’t directly visualized this yet either that we know of… and in one sense, how would we if a given “binary” has one star orbiting permanently INSIDE of the other? Also, what would be the exterior evidence that a formerly intact-yet-interior companion had become homogenized (or hadn’t yet, for that matter)? Is there some way to measure the outer surface to pin-point the “moment” the two stars actually merged, instead of being a binary pair? In this circumstance, all we can do for now is guess.
So this was the needlessly long answer to Lars P.’s shorter questions, which I will now (again) sum up: Yes stellar mergers happen, and though they are probably much more common than black hole mergers, they are (as of now!) much less visible to our instruments, and likely to remain that way for a long time.

Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 18, 2016 7:21 am

Youa re obviously comfortble with stellar evolution and reactions.
Let me borrow your background and intelligence for a few moments. (I promise I will return it undamaged, interest-free and unused! Even though that doesn’t sound quite right.)
The most common 3 elements in our solar system are dominated by the sun, Jupiter & Saturn’s hydrogen and Helium. On earth (and probably the other rocky planets, moons and asteroids), the list is very different: Helium is second, making up almost all of the remaining 25%. Oxygen is a distant third. On earth, oxygen is the most common element, making up about 47% of the earth’s mass. Silicon is second, making up 28%, followed by aluminum (8%), iron (5%), magnesium (2%), calcium (4%), sodium (3%), and potassium (3%).
These are built up from 1H1, 1H2, and 2He4 nuclei into the heavier elements by fusion in star cores, then (theoretically) blow back into space if a supernova blows out the fused results.
So, for the most common elements (including iron at AW = 56), what is the optimum fusion sequence needed to make the result? 12Carbon6 (for example) requires how many sequential supernovas? What is the optimum cycle to make Neon, Oxygen, Magnesium, Silicon, Sulfer and the far heavier iron?
Obviously, if a smaller star runs through enough cycles to create modest weight elements, those are not discharged into the interstellar dust clouds
Or just one – one that burns long enough to continue past the first hydrogen->Helium chain reactions? But, if that long-burning supernova burns carbon into heavier elements, which supernova created the Oxygen, Nitrogen, Silicon, Neon, Mg, Sulfer chains?
Those early-formed elements are not all burned out in the series of sequential supernova explosions that made the iron, nickle, lead, and uranium (etc) that we know exist in the solar system, but somehow you have to have enough sequential supernova’s that did exist to make everything. And every supernova explosion needs millions of years of dust particle coasting through interstellar space at sub-light speed just to get to the next yet-to-be-formed supernova location.
At a 13.5 billion year old universe, with our star 4 light years from the nearest star (and not getting much closer nor farther away!), and with no supernova remnants anywhere near this arm of the Milky Way galaxy (and in a galaxy arm that has been stable for the 4.5 billion years that the earth has NOT been hit by supernova debris!) there does not seem to be enough time to make the 10^57 element nuclei we know exist here.

Lars P.
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 19, 2016 1:38 am

Thanks for the short and long answers Smokey!
Fascinating kiss of death picture of VFTS 352, unfortunately our life span is too short to observe it to the end….
Stupid question, to the possibility of one smaller companion orbiting inside a larger star, wondering if it may be derived that also a smaller planet could be orbiting inside a star, like for instance a Mars or Earth size planet orbiting inside the sun?
Would it be still keeping its consistence or would it be vaporized and blown apart? Is there a critical mass over which such entity would survive as a distinct entity inside a star?

Lars P.
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 19, 2016 1:48 am

Oh, and whilst we are at stupid questions and you were so kind to answer mine – here is another one, maybe you can help clear it?
Whilst we see the Sun in the position where it was 8 minutes ago, the gravitation pull is coming from its actual position which is different.
Whilst light and gravitation travel with the same speed, why do we not see the Sun in the same position as where the gravitational pull is coming from?

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 20, 2016 2:16 am

@Lars P.:
Question #1) A planet isn’t likely to survive being heated past the vaporization point of its constituent elements, at least not for very long. White dwarves and neutron stars are made of much sturdier stuff, but even these are expected to spiral fairly quickly down to the core of whatever star they merge with… assuming the larger star survives the process!
Question #2) Actually the gravitational pull of the Sun is just as time-lagged as the light that we see. Thus if one were to (as the scenario goes) “magically vanish the Sun from its point in space,” we would continue on blissfully unaware for ~8.5 minutes… in other words, our path through space wouldn’t change until the Sun’s light went out, as the changes in the curvature of space space-time which keep us on our orbital path wouldn’t be felt until then.

Lars P.
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 20, 2016 4:25 am

Smokey (Can’t do a thing about wildfires)
June 20, 2016 at 2:16 am :
Question #2) Actually the gravitational pull of the Sun is just as time-lagged as the light that we see.
To my knowledge that does not work like this. If one computes the gravitational pull time-lagged, as the light, the orbits would not be stable. Astronomers do compute the gravitational pull as if being instantaneous, not time-lagged.

Reply to  Lars P.
June 20, 2016 4:55 am

” Astronomers do compute the gravitational pull as if being instantaneous, not time-lagged.”
I believe they have thought their way past this and now believe it travels at C and not instantaneous. What you mentioned was what many thought not long ago though.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 20, 2016 7:20 am

Lars P., I think someone else(s) also had a question about the speed of gravity up-thread, but micro6500 is correct.
1. While Newtonian mechanics ARE generally used for spacecraft orbital calculations, it is because they’re much easier to work with… NOT because they produce the most accurate results! For one, most spacecraft orbit in circumstances which do not require relativistic accuracy in order to accurately predict their motion (see 2). For another, any measurable difference between Einstein & Newton is quickly erased by a much bigger fly in the calculation ointment: atmospheric drag, which acts upon satellites even out to the GPS constellation, and for which neither set of equations can accurately account due to the chaotic & variable nature of the Earth’s thermosphere.
2. Einstein’s field equations are needed to accurately calculate Mercury’s orbit (specifically, the precession of that orbit over time) because unlike spacecraft moving around the Earth or about the solar system, Mercury is close enough to a massive-enough body that Newtonian calculations of its orbit diverge measurably from observed reality over time. Calculations using Einstein’s equations (to my knowledge) have yet to diverge from the margin of observational error.
3. The “speed of gravity” doesn’t factor much into the previous two points because neither the spacecraft nor the Earth, nor Mercury nor the Sun (and thus the displacement in space-time caused by these bodies) are moving very fast. Only in instances such as the hypothetical the “Missing Sun” problem does it come into play, in which cases the field equations predict the information regarding such a sudden absence will propagate at the speed of light. So far observational evidence supports that conclusion:
In 2003 a team announced at the AAS meeting in Seattle that they had used radio signals from a distant quasar passing near Jupiter to get a rough idea of the actual value for the speed of gravity. The team announced that “the propagation speed was equal to the speed of light within an accuracy of 20 percent,” and that even allowing for observational error, “”we can confidently exclude any speed for gravity that is over twice that of light.”” From the linked article: “If the speed of gravitational propagation were infinite, the apparent position of the quasar should have moved in a perfect circle due to the bending of the radio waves, Kopeikin said. Instead, it inscribed an offset ellipse, shaped roughly as would be expected if the speed of gravity and the speed of light were equal.” (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3077353/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/first-test-gravitys-speed-upholds-einstein/)
In 2012 a Chinese team published a paper in which they claimed to have empirically measured the speed of gravity as being within 5% of c (95% – 105%, iirc) by looking at the difference between the calculations of an infinite speed of propagation versus the actual observations of the pull of the solar tides on the Earth’s crust (link to the full paper is WAY too long to share, but it’s in the references for the Wikipedia article on gravity).
In both cases detailed observations showed empirically that the speed of gravity is finite and likely to match c as predicted. I haven’t heard of other more recent experiments which overthrow or modify these results, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Lars P.
Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 21, 2016 2:57 pm

Thanks for the answers Smokey. It seems the speed of gravity may be equal with the speed of light, but it does not seem to be proven in that experiment:
“Einstein may be correct about the speed of gravity but the experiment in question neither confirms nor refutes this,” says Samuel. “In effect, the experiment was measuring effects associated with the propagation of light, not the speed of gravity.”
Another very interesting thought experiment about GPS I found in a post about Van Flanders (name at the end of your link)
” Dingle’s Question:
University of London Professor Herbert Dingle showed why special relativity will always conflict with logic, no matter when we first learn it. According to the theory, if two observers are equipped with clocks, and one moves in relation to the other, the moving clock runs slower than the non-moving clock. But the relativity principle itself (an integral part of the theory) makes the claim that if one thing is moving in a straight line in relation to another, either one is entitled to be regarded as moving. It follows that if there are two clocks, A and B, and one of them is moved, clock A runs slower than B, and clock B runs slower than A. Which is absurd.”
Dingle’s Question was this: Which clock runs slow? Physicists could not agree on an answer. As the debate raged on, a Canadian physicist wrote to Nature in July 1973: “Maybe the time has come for all of those who want to answer to get together and to come up with one official answer. Otherwise the plain man, when he hears of this matter, may exercise his right to remark that when the experts disagree they cannot all be right, but they can all be wrong.”
So to say, if the clocks of the GPS satellites are set to run slower to be in agreement with the clocks on the Earth, how comes that agreeing to relativity from the point of view of the satellite the Earth clocks should be running slower?

June 18, 2016 7:28 am

Smokey, I am not convinced by your claim, actually believe you are wrong, w.a.d.r.. Could you direct me to or you yourself provide a compelling explanation? Comparing Fc=kQ1Q2/d^2 and Fg=GM1M2/d^2, nowhere can I find any source that says this Fc falls off at greater distance more than Fg.
The reason why we don’t see Fc at any distance cosmic or solar, only earthly (lightning), is because charges even themselves out so earth here and a distant earthlike planet, the other side of the universe would have neutral, none differing charge, so no Fc.
you mention a garage expt. perhaps you could be more detailed about that, thanx

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Neillusion
June 18, 2016 7:54 am

As with my reply to Joel above, It’s not that you’ve done the math wrong, you’ve just done the wrong math.
The experiment has to do with using a magnet, a floor- or table-mounted bar of metal or magnet, and a force gauge. When one plots the force needed to disengage the magnets from one another, one finds that the force does NOT vary as inverse square, but rather as 1/r^4, assuming nothing is placed between those items to attenuate the field. It is this, among other attributes of the combined EM force, that shows definitively that point charges are not what should generally be calculated when trying to determine the effect of EM over distance.
From point to point on a wire, sure. From place to place on a lightning strike, even: grand, at least for rule-of-thumb calculations. But trying to calculate the effect of the EM force between moving objects (not particles) on a solar system scale, no sir. For that you absolutely need to incorporate the various field equations. IOW, the math in your earlier example is correct, but it only applies if the equivalent point charges exist AS POINTS, there are no other magnetic fields, EM flows or interactive materials between the two, and they are stationary w/respect to one another at the start of your calculation.
Even then, I’d look at it askance, because those types of masses/collections of charged particles that you use for an example are routinely thrown around in thunderstorms here on Earth (at least in terms of the excess charges). Since the difference in charge should be enough to not only counter gravity but the tensile strength of the metal, how come struck lightning rods aren’t ever torn from their mounts and thrown tens of kilometers into the air? In fact, if Coulomb’s law were the primary rule governing lightning formation/generation, we should see many examples of the cloud charge potential being neutralized not with sparks of lightning, but by the actual dragging of oppositely charged material up from the ground and into contact with that part of the cloud! We don’t see that, so something else must be happening that goes beyond the 2-pt. charge equation.
(As per your comment posted while I was typing this, one can separate “magnetic” from “electric,” but the EM force governs them both; trying to use “electric” equations to calculate EM effects for large-scale events without taking that into account is what I am terming “the mistake.”)

Reply to  Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
June 26, 2016 12:30 am

@Smokey ( I hope the wild fires are looked after)
“assuming nothing is placed between those items to attenuate the field”
. That “assuming” to me is the problem. There is always something “in between”. That to me is where the ” theories” fall apart

June 18, 2016 7:46 am

Also, Smokey, the magnetic force is different again and I believe falls off proportional to 1/d^3, I’d have to check that.
In the Fc vs Fg stakes, the language/semantics used suggest a direct comparison between those two, as I have tried to explain a couple of times.
Charge accumulations, + vs -, do not exist at planetary or solar scales, so we don’t see them or observe such effects as would be produced – it is not because the force has fallen off in a different way to gravity.
If am using the wrong math then am at a loss to understand and need help with what you are trying to say.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Neillusion
June 18, 2016 7:58 am

What may be the most important take-away is that we agree that EM doesn’t operate (usually) over stellar distances. ^_^
It’s only the method of calculation I take issue with, because it is that indiscriminate use of Coulomb’s Law that gives the Electric Universe theory it’s power, especially when combined with a semi-scientific discussion of how “gravity doesn’t work like we think it does, Einstein was wrong, and the Sun is made mostly of Iron!”

Reply to  Neillusion
June 19, 2016 6:53 am

The force between two magnets decays like 1/d^4. (See, e.g., here: http://www.physicspages.com/2013/06/25/force-between-two-magnetic-dipoles/ ) The faster decay is because there are no magnetic monopoles (i.e., no isolated north poles without a south pole). So, a “magnet” is really a magnetic dipole.
If you have an electric dipole (a + charge and – charge of equal magnitude separated by some distance) then the force of interaction between two such electric dipoles would also go as 1/d^4 (as long as the distance d is much larger than the size of the dipole, i.e., distance between the + and – charge).
So, there is no inherent difference between the behavior of the electric and magnetic force except for the fact that, as I said, magnets necessarily come in pairs of north and south poles so there is no magnetic analogy to having an isolated electric charge.

Reply to  Neillusion
June 19, 2016 7:04 am

Just to complete the discussion and bring in gravity: For gravity, there is no such thing as negative mass, which means there is a gravitational monopole but no such thing as an isolated gravitational dipole (i.e., if you do a multipole expansion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multipole_expansion of any mass distribution, there will necessarily be a monopole term). So, this is sort of the converse of what is true for magnetic force.
So, perhaps this is the sense in which what Smokey says and what Neillusion and I have been saying can be thought of as sort of expressing the same idea in different ways: The electromagnetic force does tend to drop off more quickly at large length scales because there are no magnetic monopoles and, although there are electric monopoles, you tend to have near-neutral net charge over large enough lengths scales (so that the monopole term essentially disappears). For the gravitational force, on the other hand, you always still have the monopole term, so it drops off more slowly with distance.
I haven’t really thought about it in this way before, but I at least tentatively think this could be a reasonable way of expressing how things work.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  joeldshore
June 20, 2016 2:19 am

Thanks, Joel. This explains it in a different way, and maybe does a better job than what I was saying.

Jim G1
June 18, 2016 7:59 am

Acoustics from the big bang lead most astrophysicists to believe the universe is infinite. Infinite space and time. Of course, then, the big bang was only some local event 13.7 bya and not the beginning of the universe as we think of it, but infinity gives one plenty of time to cook up all your elements.

June 18, 2016 8:56 am

Smokey, mmmm. not happy
This all started in respect of ‘hearing’ black holes merge due to change of gravity/spacetime. The forces in my opinion are way way to small to detect.
If you take away from that conversation that coulomb forces do not operate on cosmic scales, I think you’d be making a mistake, rather large one too.
quasars are said to be ejecting jets of electrons into space, hundred of thousands of light year jets. This charge will have enormous forces associated with it and other charges in the universe, i.e. another quasar somewhere else ejecting protons/+ve plasma. Your own argument on the complexity of forces E/M, actually magnetic, garage expt, supports the electric universe’s point of view as I understand it. But, to stay on point, such charge would have a phenomenal effect, much more than gravity, tens of orders of magnitude exactly as explained. To be dismissed by you so easily is disappointing. These should be investigated and reported on by astrophysicists, for the effect must be hugely significant in formative stages of the cosmos and elsewhere.
Back to the point, a cosmic discharge of accumulation of charge, like sparks crackling faster and faster as you bring the excess charge closer to the opposite charged body…

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)
Reply to  Neillusion
June 20, 2016 2:44 am

With respect to the smallness of the measurements, Neillusion, it’s true that trying to measure something that’s moving on the scale of 1/10000 of a proton using a ruler is going to be pretty difficult. Fortunately, LIGO (and eventually, LISA) doesn’t even try, instead using basic scientific principles which are well-understood to magnify the effect of an otherwise imperceptible change in the universe.
The magnification methods used (as well as those used to dampen the effects of interfering phenomena) are actually both intuitive and common-sensical, so go check them out & then we can discuss how those methods might or might not work as well as we’d like them to. In fact, my biggest issue with the project to date is not it’s results (finally!), but with the cost/time which have been spent in achieving them. As someone else I heard put it, “The two published detection papers by LIGO to date are possibly the most expensive in the entire history of science!”
As for our debate as to the appropriate use of a particular 2-pt charge equation, perhaps I’ve done a poor job of explaining myself; perhaps Joel’s posts will clarify things a bit better. The bottom line from my perspective is that Coulomb’s Law is not used in astrophysics because in most astrophysics, it isn’t the right equation to use.
I’m not saying the equation isn’t “valid” or “truthful.” I’m saying using it to do something like predict the interaction of particles in the Earth’s outer atmosphere with the solar wind is analogous to calculating the CAPE on a spring morning in Norman, OK with a sling hygrometer: you need more information than that particular tool gives you.

June 18, 2016 9:42 am

Your question regarding lightning suggests you do not appreciate the numbers or scales involved.
Lightning transfers, on average, 15Coulombs of charge.
1 Coulomb is equal to 6.23 x 10^18 point charges.
There are 6.?? x 10^23 atoms in a mole, so 12g carbon for example…
If we are dealing with electrons, that weigh 1/2000th the proton, then it works out that, within one order of magnitude!,
15Coulombs electrons charge weighs 15 x 1/(2000 x 12) x 10^-5
=~ 6 x 10^-8 grams, if protons, x by 2000.
The force over say 1000m is (10^10 x 200)/(1000 x 1000) = 2 x 10^6N.
So the lightning cloud is spread over 1000m sq and weighs a few 10’s of millions of kgs and is tugged downward (the ground up) by approx 200 000kg coulomb force – this spread over a kilometer sq. area as is the charge, so any one small piece of say roof tile of say 30cm by 30cm, say 1000sq cms will have 1000/100000×100000 th the charge and individually a negligible force pulling it upward ~ 20grams – this is why it is not ripped off the roof.

June 19, 2016 4:52 pm

There are so many thing wrong with this…
Fist they have to verify the first detection that happened during an engineering run, and they discounted the sanity check..