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Science

A GIGANT HEARING TRACKS WAVES OF THE UNIVERSE IN THE HEART OF ITALY

Cascina (Italy) / In the heart of Italy, there is a giant sensor capable of “hearing” signals coming from the immeasurable confines of the universe, called the VIRGO project.

VIRGO is located in a wide esplanade between the hills of Tuscany, near the municipality of Cascina (centre) and it is added to the two sensors of the United States, known as LIGO, which in September 2015 detected gravitational waves for the first time. Albert Einstein and opened a new era of astrophysics that emerged with a Nobel Prize in Physics and the Princess of Asturias Award.

Gravitational waves are like waves that arise from events like the collision of extraordinarily massive objects like two black holes.

The black holes that rotate until colliding, cause the emission of waves that propagate, as when a stone is thrown into the water, but this time through space-time, shrinking and lengthening it.

The theory, discussed by many, was settled but a proof was missing, which has taken a century to arrive.

And it has required the construction of these three large, expensive and sophisticated sensors: two in the United States, known as LIGO, and another in Italy called VIRGO.

VIRGO is owned Franco-Italian consortium European Gravitational Observatory and scientists from Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary collaborate.

From the sky, like the LIGO sensors, VIRGO is L-shaped and consists of two perpendicular galleries three kilometres long that join in a building, creating a right angle.

Inside that installation, a powerful laser projects its beam of light towards two mirrors located at the bottom of two tubes that run through the interior of said galleries, subjected to vacuum so that the trajectory and precision of the beam are imperturbable.

This is of such an incredible sensitivity that this can detect an earthquake in Japan, explains the Spanish expert Julia Casanueva to EFE.

The detection of these waves is important because they provide complementary information to the hitherto known by light on what happens in space.

“Before we had eyes and now we have ears,” explains Spanish Alejandro Torres-Forné, astrophysicist of the Valencia Group at VIRGO. (November 13, 2017, EFE/Practica Español)

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Question 1
En la noticia se dice que…
A
se ha instalado un aparato que permite contemplar las galaxias.
B
un aparato ha sido instalado para captar cualquier tipo de vibración en el espacio-tiempo.
C
se instalará un aparato para registrar cualquier tipo de sonido.
Question 2
Según el texto, ¿dónde está ubicado este sensor?
A
En el centro de Italia.
B
En la zona septentrional de Italia.
C
En la zona meridional de Italia.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que…
A
ese sensor es carísimo y muy avanzado.
B
ese sensor es muy caro a pesar de estar obsoleto.
C
ese sensor está obsoleto y vale poco dinero.
Question 4
Sobre las ondas gravitacionales se dice que…
A
los científicos están tratando de elaborar una teoría que explique el fenómeno.
B
aún no se ha presentado ninguna explicación sobre este fenómeno.
C
se dio una explicación teórica antes de que se probara el fenómeno.
Question 5
VIRGO es el único sensor de estas características en el planeta Tierra.
A
Es mentira.
B
¡No se sabe!
C
Es verdad.
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