[ExI] LIGO just announced 4 more Black Hole collisions

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 22:30:07 UTC 2018

On Tue, 4 Dec 2018 at 21:18, spike wrote:
> Hoooowwwww how how howwwww how the hell… can there be so damn many of these marvelous things this late in the day, this long since the Big Bang?  John are you finding this as puzzling as I am?  I did the calcs according to my understanding and estimated if I live to be 90 I would be lucky to hear of one such collision in my lifetime.  Now we have nearly a dozen in three years.  This is like putting one coin into the slot machine the first time you ever go into a casino and winning the grand prize.
> For me it is even more an embarrassment of riches in a way, like the lucky sap who won big with one single pull of the slot machine who was the pastor of a society which considers gambling is a sin.  Imagine he was in town for the electronics show and had one quarter in his pocket, put it in the machine, now he’s a millionaire.  That guy is me: I didn’t think LIGO was a good investment of science money.  Now, oh how happy I am to have been so wrong on that.  LIGO has been the best science fixed-asset investment since Hubble, maybe better than Hubble in a way.
> I still don’t understand how there could be a coupla orders of magnitude more collisions than I estimated.  Oh I blew that one.  I soooo don’t understand the BB model now.  This is a good thing in science to discover that oneself is stupid (or preferably just ignorant (because ignorance has a cure (a pleasant one if one has the right attitude.))))

Psssst Spike - The Universe is really, REALLY big!   :)
These events are coming from way outside our galaxy.


The 11 detections that have been made so far are shown above, with 10
of them representing black hole-black hole mergers, and only GW170817
representing a neutron star-neutron star merger. Those merging neutron
stars was the closest event at a mere 130-140 million light years
away. The most massive merger seen — GW170729 — comes to us from a
location that, with the expansion of the Universe, is now 9 billion
light years away.


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