KEYNOTE: In September 2015, exactly 100 years after Einstein first unveiled his theory of General Relativity, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected the first gravitational wave signal from the collision of two black holes, a discovery honored by the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. Now, three years later, observations of these binary black hole mergers are becoming routine, and the first neutron star merger signal recorded by LIGO and partner European facility Virgo in August 2017 was accompanied by a blast of gamma-ray, X-ray, optical, infrared, and radio light, that is now a Rosetta stone for understanding the origin of heavy elements in the cosmos. I will talk about the role of Python in these discoveries: from operating the detectors, to analyzing the data, pushing alerts to astronomers, and connecting scientists and educators with LIGO open data.
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