Etelman Observatory

News & Events

UVI’s Etelman Observatory Joins Global Initiative Connecting Telescopes Worldwide

The University of the Virgin Islands’ (UVI) Etelman Observatory has joined an international collaboration of telescopes across the globe focused on studying and understanding the elusive explosions in space that lead to the emission of powerful bursts of gravitational waves. The Global Rapid Advanced Network Devoted to the Multi-messenger Addicts (GRANDMA) collaboration is a worldwide partnership of 25 ground-based telescopes in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and the Caribbean. The GRANDMA collaboration has recently released its results of the long-haul observation campaign #3 (O3) aimed at detecting mergers of compact objects like white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes.

"The involvement of the Etelman Observatory in this international research effort builds on our traditional strength in astrophysics research and is solidifying UVI as a key contributor to the study of gravitational wave sources," said Dr. David Morris, associate professor of physics and director of the Etelman Observatory. “These gravitational wave sources have only been known about for a few years but are already opening entirely new fields of scientific study and will continue to do so for years to come,” he explained.

The Etelman Observatory and its staff contributed to the success of this observation campaign by joining the GRANDMA collaboration in September 2019 and offering observation time on the Virgin Islands Robotic Telescope (VIRT). Dr. N. Brice Orange, of OrangeWave Innovative Science, LLC who oversees operations at Etelman Observatory, coordinates with GRANDMA to schedule VIRT observations of candidate gravitational wave events that are carried out at the Etelman Observatory by resident astronomer, Priyadarshini Gokuldass. Dr. Morris then processes and investigates these images for the presence of previously unknown sources of light.

For more information on this article from the University of the Virgin Islands, please click here.