In collaboration with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the Zadko telescope will perform optical follow-ups of gravitational wave candidate “events” to improve the confidence of a possible detection.
Gravitational waves are ripples of space-time created by violent events in the Universe such as mergers of black holes and neutron stars.
Their existence was predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity in 1915. They offer a completely new spectrum in astronomy. Detection will revolutionise our understanding of the dynamics of space-time at the limits of strong gravity, allowing direct observation of the birth of black holes.
A multi-messenger approach to gravitational wave detection is one of the highest priority goals in the gravitational wave community. Above all, it will help us make the first detection of gravitational waves.
It allows gravitational wave candidates that are too weak to claim detection based on gravitational wave data alone to be associated with an optical signal that could provide strong confirmation.
The aims of this research are:
When new data from advanced gravitational wave detectors (LIGO in the US and Virgo in Italy) becomes available, we aim: