“We have just raised the probability that many rocky planets are like the Earth, and there’s a very large number of rocky planets in the universe,” said Edward Young, UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry. “We’re studying geochemistry in rocks from other stars, which is almost unheard of.”
“We’ve seen many examples of a type of system where one white dwarf has been mostly cannibalized by its companion, but we rarely catch these systems as they are still merging like this one,” says Kevin Burdge at Caltech about two dead stars that have been spotted whipping around each other every seven minutes, and one of a few known sources of gravitational waves—ripples in space and time–that should keep blinking in the night sky for a hundred thousand years.
LISA, the European Space Agency’s planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, scheduled for launch in 2034. will comprise three spacecraft, arranged in a triangular formation, 2.5 million kilometers apart designed to function as an enormous, orbiting gravitational wave detector. With only a minor technological tweak LISA, could also function as a detector for signals broadcast by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, according to Marek Abramowicz of Sweden’s University of Gothenburg.