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After gravity-wave rumors, it’s go time for LIGO

Image: LIGO optics
Optics technician Gary Traylor uses a light to inspect one of the laser-reflecting mirrors at the LIGO facility in Livingston, La. (Credit: Matt Heintze / Caltech / MIT / LIGO Lab)

The scientists behind the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory are getting ready to reveal their latest findings, amid a flurry of speculation over whether or not they’ve made the first-ever detection of waves rippling through spacetime.

Fred Raab, the head of the LIGO laboratory in Hanford, Wash., isn’t telling.

“As we have done for the past 15 years, we take data, analyze the data, write up the results for publication in scientific journals, and once the results are accepted for publication, we announce results broadly on the day of publication or shortly thereafter,” he told GeekWire in an email.

In a follow-up phone call, Raab noted that if the historical trend holds true, the results should be ready to submit for publication as early as this month.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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