Podcaster: Beth Johnson, Franck Marchis, and Simon Steel (alternate hosts); Guest: Dr. Nathalie Cabrol
Title: SETI Live: Pulsars Reveal Cosmic Hum
Organization: SETI Institute
Gravitational waves play a cosmic symphony as they pass through our galaxy. This week, the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) Physics Frontiers Center released the results of 15 years of data in a set of papers published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. This research is the first evidence of gravitational waves at very low frequencies.
The team, comprised of 190 scientists, transformed our region of the Milky Way Galaxy into an immense gravitational-wave antenna using pulsars. NANOGrav’s endeavor involved collecting data from 68 pulsars, fashioning a pulsar timing array—a distinctive type of detector.
In 2020, with over a decade of data, NANOGrav scientists detected hints of an additional enigmatic “hum” in the timing behavior of all the pulsars in their array. After exploring alternative explanations, they grew confident in the authenticity of this signal. Its detection became increasingly feasible with more extensive observations.
However, at that stage, the gravitational-wave signature predicted by general relativity remained too faint to emerge. After fifteen years of pulsar observations, the evidence of gravitational waves, with periods spanning years to decades, emerges prominently.
Join Simon Steel, Deputy Director of the Carl Sagan Center, as he discusses this groundbreaking research with NANOGrav team member and SETI Institute researcher Dr. Michael Lam.
Bio: Beth Johnson is a communications specialist and social media manager with a degree in physics and master’s work in planetary science. She specializes in meteor showers, icy moons, and anything with volcanoes.
Franck Marchis is a senior planetary astronomer and chair of the exoplanet group at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute and Chief Scientific Officer and Founder at Unistellar. He has dedicated his work to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics.
Simon Steel is Deputy Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute. As an observational astrophysicist, he specialized in optical spectrophotometry, with an interest in the star formation histories of galaxies.
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the SETI Institute’s Carl Sagan Center
Today’s sponsor: Big thanks to our Patreon supporters this month: Paul M. Sutter, Chris Nealen, Frank Frankovic, Frank Tippin, Jako Danar, Michael Freedman, Nik Whitehead, Rani Bush, Ron Diehl, Steven Emert, Brett Duane, Don Swartwout, Vladimir Bogdanov, Steven Kluth, Steve Nerlich, Phyllis Foster, Michael W, James K Wood, Katrina Ince, Cherry Wood.
Please consider sponsoring a day or two. Just click on the “Donate” button on the lower left side of this webpage, or contact us at email@example.com.
Please visit our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/365DaysOfAstronomy
or you can consider to sponsor a day of our podcast : https://cosmoquest.org/x/365daysofastronomy/product/sponsor-an-episode-of-365-days-of-astronomy/
365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Planetary Science Institute. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by libsyn.com and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes.
This show is made possible thanks to the generous donations of people like you! Please consider supporting to our show on Patreon.com/365DaysofAstronomy and get access to bonus content.
After 10 years, the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is entering its second decade of sharing important milestone in space exploration and astronomy discoveries. Join us and share your story. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!