Astronomy Cast Ep. 403: Funding Big Science: from Alma to LIGO to TMT

Article Updated: 22 Feb , 2016

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How much of a challenge is it to get funding for large projects like LIGO? Fraser and Pamela discuss the difficult issues finding “Big Money.”

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2 Responses

  1. Smokey says:

    In regards to Dr. Pamela’s comment near the beginning about there being only one LIGO signal to this point:

    It seems the LIGO folks took so long trying to make sure their “non-6-sigma detection” was actually worthy of putting out there in the public forum, that two other signals (at least) have since been found (one last October and one in December, supposedly) and more papers are on the way.

    In a nifty coincidence (if such can be said to exist), here’s a paper from the GBM folks at Fermi who tracked a gamma ray burst event coincidentally close in both time and space to the event LIGO supposedly observed: http://gammaray.nsstc.nasa.gov/gbm/publications/preprints/gbm_ligo_preprint.pdf.

    From the abstract: “If the GBM transient is associated with GW150914, this electromagnetic signal from a stellar mass black hole binary merger is unexpected… The observation by Fermi GBM encompasses 75% of the probability map associated with the LIGO… Assuming the two events have a common origin, the combined LIGO and GBM observations can reduce the 90%
    confidence interval on sky location from 601 to 199 square degrees. Future joint observations of GW events by LIGO/Virgo and Fermi GBM could reveal whether the weak transient reported here is a plausible counterpart to the GW event GW150914 or a chance coincidence, and will further probe the connection between compact binary
    mergers and short Gamma-Ray Bursts.” (emphasis mine)

    • Smokey says:

      Also, Fraser, I’m still seeing the “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!” error message. Might want to work on that, good Sir.

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