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A Message from the LIGO-Virgo Collaborations

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 15:22

LIGO-Virgo CollaborationsThe LIGO-Virgo Collaborations will transition to open, public alerts (OPA) for gravitational-wave (transient) event detections starting with the next observing run of the instruments later in 2018. Such OPAs will enable the entire physics and astronomy community to become involved in the pursuit of multimessenger observations of gravitational-wave sources and maximize the science reach of the gravitational-wave instruments. These OPAs are also in line with what the collaborations have planned with and communicated to the broader science community over the years.

In anticipation of the OPA era, we invite the physics and astronomy community interested in the multimessenger aspects of the science with gravitational waves to join a new "open forum." Unlike the membership structure based on memoranda of understanding that has been in place for the past LIGO-Virgo observing runs, the new Open LV-EM Forum has no requirements for joining or for participation. It is intended to facilitate the free exchange of information and ideas among gravitational-wave, electromagnetic, and other (e.g., neutrino) astrophysicists. You will find details on how to connect and become involved on the OpenLV-EM webpage.

Additionally, we would like to invite the entire community interested in the multimessenger science enabled by the OPAs provided by LIGO-Virgo to two town hall meetings. The first will be in Boston, Massachusetts, 16-17 March 2018, and the second in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 12-13 April 2018. An early response to this invitation will help us plan for the number of participants. These meetings will share details on how we are preparing for the OPA era, invite input, comments, and thoughts from the community, and position us all to commence observations as soon as LIGO-Virgo turn on late in 2018. Details on how to connect and become involved are available on the OpenLV-EM webpage.

Please direct questions on the town hall meetings and the Open LV-EM Forum to

David Shoemaker (Spokesperson, LIGO Scientific Collaboration),
Laura Cadonati (LSC Deputy Spokesperson) &
Jo van den Brand (Spokesperson, Virgo Collaboration)

David H. Shoemaker
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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