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A Long Drive to Outer Space? Put Gravitational Waves on the Radio!

24 Feb 2021, 18:25 UTC
A Long Drive to Outer Space? Put Gravitational Waves on the Radio!
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Title: Searching for gravitational waves via Doppler tracking by future missions to Uranus and NeptuneAuthors: Deniz Soyuer, Lorenz Zwick, Daniel J. D’Orazio and Prasenjit SahaFirst Author’s Institution: Center for Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology, Institute for Computational Science, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, SwitzerlandStatus: Submitted to MNRAS; Available on ArxivYou are a planetary scientist who has just sent out a brand new space probe to explore the outer solar system. All you have to do to get exciting data from Uranus and Neptune is, um, wait for a decade for it to get there. Worry not, today’s authors revisit an idea to make this long journey more enjoyable: by turning on the radio and listening to gravitational waves!

Fig 1: It’s cold, dark, and a long way to go. Do we sit idle, or turn on the radio to catch gravitational waves? Image credit: NASA, modified by the author
The RadioGravitational waves are tiny ripples in space-time that are generated by the motion of massive, compact bodies like black holes. A passing gravitational wave causes extremely small fluctuations in the distance between two free bodies. The idea of using faraway spacecraft to detect gravitational waves dates back to the ...

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