Tuesday, April 05, 2016

LIGO and the Ol' 19th

 I LOVE LOOKING AT THE HEAVENS. I would, in know way, call myself an amateur astronomer, but I do enjoy reading books and articles and of course, gazing at pictures of the heavens.  Many of the explanations of the universe and our recent discoveries are way over my head, yet I am caught by the wonder they create in me.

This past February I discovered, as I suppose some others of you did, about an instrument that detects gravitational waves. These waves are so small, well let's just say it's beyond my comprehension, that it takes a quite amazing instrument call LIGO, (astronomers love acronyms!) which stands for: Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory and now you know why they like acronyms. Rather than for me to explain it, if you're interested, I encourage you to check out the link above.

Now, here's the news, on September 14, 2015 this instrument "wiggled," well wiggled is a bigger word than what it did, remember these waves are small.  They were able to determine from these waves something that took place billions of years ago. Check out the new release here.

Whether you believe, or understand, what they say they were able to discover, it is all pretty amazing. Recently, I was drawn to the last sentence in an article I read in the April 2016 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine.  The author, Brian Green, writes, "There's nothing more inspiring than our capacity, in the midst of our ever-present terrestrial struggles, to look up, to wonder, and to have the ingenuity and dedication to see a little farther."   (The Detection of Gravitational-Waves was a Scientific Breakthrough, But What's Next?) Upon reading that sentence my mind and heart went directly to the thought that the Psalmist David was once again right on the money when he penned in Psalm 19,

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
 So, whether it is peering into the deep darkness of the night sky, or measuring the infinitesimal waves of gravity, one must say, "How great is our God!"