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Systemic - Characterizing Extrasolar Planetary Systems

Listening in

12 Feb 2016, 05:45 UTC
Listening in
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

As with everyone else, LIGO made my day.
It’s interesting that transverse waves of spatial strain — ripples in spacetime — are consistently described as “sounds” in the media presentations. For example, the APS commentary accompanying the Physical Review Letter on GW150914 is entitled The First Sounds of Merging Black Holes.
Quite frankly, Python is a threat to the scientific guild. What used to require esoteric numerical skills — typing in recipes in Fortran and stitching them together, or licensed packages, “seats”, always priced to keep the riff-raff out, now comes completely for free with a one-click install of an Anaconda distribution. All this stuff places anyone just a few lines away from hearing the sound on Figure 1, which APS posted as a teaser while they scrambled to get servers on line to handle the crush of download demand:

Here’s what I did this morning to “hear” the signal while waiting for the servers to free up, so that I could download the full paper.
(1) Take a screen shot of the Hanford signal:

(2) Upload the screenshot to WebPlotDigitizer, and follow the directions to sample the waveform. After a bit of fooling around with the ...

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