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Short Film About LIGO to Premiere Online

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 17:34


A film about the NSF-funded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories (LIGO) will premiere online on on 15 April, documenting the science and people behind an amazing astronomical tool designed to catch sight of violent cosmic events trillions of miles from Earth. Produced by filmmaker Kai Staats, the new documentary, titled LIGO, A Passion for Understanding, follows scientists working with LIGO. This is the first installment to a multi-video series.

Operated by teams from the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, LIGO's observatories use 4-kilometer-long laser beams to hunt for gravitational waves — ripples in space-time created by cataclysmic events in the cosmos. The LIGO scientific collaboration consists of more than 550 scientists from more than 40 institutions worldwide, such as University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Florida, Caltech, MIT, Syracuse, and the University of Mississippi, to name just a few.

LIGO's enhanced run ended in 2010, but the Advanced LIGO project featuring newly upgraded instruments is set to begin its run in late 2015. Advanced LIGO will probe deeper into the universe in search of gravitational waves.

You can watch the trailer for LIGO, A Passion for Understanding on or directly on filmmaker Kai Staats's website.

— Posted on behalf of Ivy Kupec, Public Affairs Specialist, National Science Foundation

Richard Tresch Fienberg
Press Officer
American Astronomical Society (AAS)