Pulsar Watchers Close In On Galaxy Merger History

For the past twelve years, a group of astronomers have been watching the sky carefully, timing pulses of radio waves being emitted by rapidly spinning stars called pulsars, first discovered 50 years ago. These astronomers are interested in understanding pulsars, but their true goal is much more profound; the detection of a new kind of gravitational waves. With a new, more sophisticated analysis, they are much closer than ever before.

Astronomers see galaxies merging throughout the universe, some of which should result in binary supermassive black holes. Credit: NASA


Gravitational Wave Search Provides Insights into Galaxy Evolution and Mergers

New results from NANOGrav – the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves – establish astrophysically significant limits in the search for low-frequency gravitational waves.

Gravitational Waves Pass through Pulsar Timing Array ( Credit: NRAO )


Gravitational Wave Astronomy Advances with New NSF-funded NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) $14.5 million over 5 years to create and operate a Physics Frontiers Center (PFC).