- A new paper “On the Formation of Ultraluminous X-ray Sources with Neutron Star Accretors: the Case of M82 X-2” by Tassos Fragos (Geneva Observatory), Tim Linden (U Chicago), Vicky Kalogera (Northwestern), and Panos Sklias (Geneva Observatory) is now accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Vicky with her past students and now collaborators, Tassos and Tim, and Tassos’ student Panos consider the newly discovered ultraluminous X-ray source M82 X-2, which surprised us by revealing a neutron star accretor instead of the typically assumed intermediate-mass black hole. The team found that, as long as mass-transfer from the massive companion is non-conservative, the system is consistent with expectations from population synthesis models of high-mass X-ray binaries.
- LIGO Generations, a new film documenting the history of gravitational wave astronomy and the dramatic next phase about to unfold with Advanced LIGO, was released just last week. It can be watched online.
Accompanying the film, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration will host a web AMA ("Ask me anything") session on the reddit r/science channel starting Friday February 13th at 12:00 pm CST.