Gravitational Waves and Gamma-ray Bursts

There are (at least) three paths that lead to excitement in the LIGO data, so understanding why all of the scientists all over the world are so excited can be a little confusing. I’m going to try to walk through them (briefly) at the request of a friend.

Just to put this in perspective, nearly everyone who works in any kind of astronomy on the planet is working on this right now, and the nuances of what’s interesting and/or important won’t become clear for another few years.

That being said, no one has ever accused me of not liking to talk (at length) about something that’s interesting (and that I know a little about), so here we go.

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