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New Study Shows That Binaries From Globular Clusters Can be Detected by LISA

The European Space Agency's next-generation Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) gravitational wave detector can potentially detect dozens of binary files in the globular clusters of the Milky Way, scientists say.

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In particular, these models suggest that the Kuiper Belt -- a cold region beyond the orbit of Neptune -- should contain a small fraction of rocky bodies from the inner solar system, such as carbon-rich asteroids, referred to as carbonaceous asteroids.
representational image, pixabay

The European Space Agency’s next-generation Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) gravitational wave detector can potentially detect dozens of binary files in the globular clusters of the Milky Way, scientists say.

Globular clusters are dense environments containing millions of tightly packed stars and are efficient factories for gravitational wave sources.

LISA, which is expected to be in space in 2034, will be able to detect binary sources — pairs of orbiting compact objects.

These binary sources will contain all combinations of black hole, neutron star and white dwarf components.

While 150 globular clusters have been observed so far in the Milky Way, one out of every three clusters will produce a LISA source.
Representational image. Pixabay

LISA will also be sensitive to gravitational waves of a lower frequency than those detected by the Earth-bound Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)

“LISA is sensitive to Milky Way systems and will expand the breadth of the gravitational wave spectrum, allowing us to explore different types of objects that aren’t observable with LIGO,” said lead author Kyle Kremer, a doctoral student at the Northwestern University in Illinois, US.

While 150 globular clusters have been observed so far in the Milky Way, one out of every three clusters will produce a LISA source.

Approximately eight black hole binaries will be detectable by LISA in our neighbouring galaxy of Andromeda and another 80 in nearby Virgo, the study showed.

The research, published by the journal Physical Review Letters, is the first to use realistic globular cluster models to make detailed predictions of LISA sources.

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The team used more than a hundred fully evolved globular cluster models with properties similar to those of the observed globular clusters in the Milky Way.

The models were run on Quest, Northwestern’s supercomputer cluster. This powerful resource can evolve the full 12 billion years of a globular cluster’s life in a matter of days. (IANS)

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Scientists to Detect and Count Stranded Whales from Space

It is hoped that in the future the technique will lead to real-time information as stranding events happen

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Scientists, Whales, Space
Now we have a higher resolution 'window' on our planet, satellite imagery may be a fast and cost-effective alternative to aerial surveys allowing us to assess the extent of mass whale stranding events, especially in remote and inaccessible areas. Pixabay

Analysing satellite images may help scientists detect and count stranded whales from space, new research has found.

In a study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images from space tech compnay Maxar Technologies.

“This is an exciting development in monitoring whales from space,” said lead author Peter Fretwell at British Antarctic Survey.

“Now we have a higher resolution ‘window’ on our planet, satellite imagery may be a fast and cost-effective alternative to aerial surveys allowing us to assess the extent of mass whale stranding events, especially in remote and inaccessible areas.”

Scientists, Whales, Space
In a study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images from space tech compnay Maxar Technologies. Pixabay

It is hoped that in the future the technique will lead to real-time information as stranding events happen.

The study by scientists from British Antarctic Survey and four Chilean research institutes, could revolutionise how stranded whales, that are dead in the water or beached, are detected in remote places.

In 2015, over 340 whales, most of them sea whales, were involved in a mass-stranding in a remote region of Chilean Patagonia.

The stranding was not discovered for several weeks owing to the remoteness of the region. Aerial and boat surveys assessed the extent of the mortality several months after discovery.

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The researchers studied satellite images covering thousands of kilometres of coastline, which provided an early insight into the extent of the mortality.

They could identify the shape, size and colour of the whales, especially after several weeks when the animals turned pink and orange as they decomposed.

A greater number of whales were counted in the images captured soon after the stranding event than from the local surveys.

Scientists, Whales, Space
“This is an exciting development in monitoring whales from space,” said lead author Peter Fretwell at British Antarctic Survey. Pixabay

“The causes of marine mammal strandings are poorly understood and therefore information gathered helps understand how these events may be influenced by overall health, diet, environmental pollution, regional oceanography, social structures and climate change,” said study co-author and whale biologist Jennifer Jackson at British Antarctic Survey.

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“As this new technology develops, we hope it will become a useful tool for obtaining real-time information. This will allow local authorities to intervene earlier and possibly help with conservation efforts,” Jackson said. (IANS)