Limburg waves: a powerful telescope that measures gravity | Science

Limburg waves: a powerful telescope that measures gravity |  Science

This so-called Einstein telescope is not a telescope as we already know it. It consists of triangular-shaped tunnels that will be built 250 meters underground. The calm and solid surface of southern Limburg is particularly well suited for this.

beyond the reason

Underground telescopes are capable of detecting gravitational waves. This is a physical phenomenon that is almost beyond our understanding. Gravitational waves arise when two extremely massive objects, such as black holes, collide. You can compare it a little to the circular waves that appear when you throw a stone into a pond. Vibrations spread in all directions, and also reach the ground.

Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 as a result of his theory of relativity. It was nearly 100 years before it was first spotted, in 2015. You might remember the mysterious audio clips from space that researchers played during the press conference. They transform gravitational waves into sounds we can hear.

more stronger

The fact that gravitational waves have already been detected means that there are already telescopes that can observe them: two in the United States and one in Italy. Now they want to build a more powerful telescope in Europe. Current telescopes monitor an average of two gravitational waves per week. With the new telescope there should be hundreds a day.

It is not yet certain that the telescope will reach southern Limburg. Sardinia in Italy is still in the race. In 2025, the decision will be made at the European level. Promised funding from the Dutch government has certainly increased the chance of the telescope getting here.

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Amitu Harhuis, Director of the Rijksmuseum Borhav

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