While the news of gravitational waves being detected on Earth is hailed as a landmark discovery, scientists will be looking forward to a major European Space Agency (ESA) mission that would seek to detect the elusive phenomenon – in space.
The twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington found evidence of gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime – that probably originated from a system of two black holes that gravitationally drew closer to each other, scientists announced on Thursday.
More on gravitational wave detection may soon enhance our understanding of the Universe when the ESA goes ahead with its scheduled launch of Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA) mission – a large-scale space mission designed to detect gravitational wave – in 2034.
The eLISA Consortium believes that a spaceborne low-frequency gravitational wave observatory is the ideal tool to make progress in our understanding of the Universe.
With eLISA we will be able to observe the entire universe directly with gravitational waves, learning about the formation of structure and galaxies, stellar evolution, the early universe, and the structure and nature of spacetime itself,” says the official eLISA website.
In his general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein predicted that there are such things as gravitational waves or ripples in the fabric of spacetime.
In fact, the very existence of these waves is the linchpin of the entire theory.
In anticipation eLISA, a preparatory, LISA Pathfinder was launched on December 3, 2015 and arrived on January 22 in its orbit around ‘L1’, the first libration point of the Sun-Earth system, a virtual point in space some 1.5 million km from Earth towards the Sun.
“LISA Pathfinder will pave the way for the eLISA mission by testing in space the very concept of gravitational wave detection,” the website said.