Science and discoveries
The Swope telescope became famous when, on August 17, 2017, a team of four Carnegie astronomers provided the first-ever glimpse of two neutron stars colliding, opening the door to a new era of astronomy. Carnegie’s scientists were alerted to the event by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which detects gravitational waves, ripples in space-time, caused by distant cosmic events. Thanks to a rapid response, the Swope observer, Natalie Ulloa from Universidad de La Serena, became the first human to set eyes on a neutron star merger, and making Swope the first telescope to observe the optical counterpart of a gravitational wave source. More.