EGO turns 20!

Dec 11, 2020

Twenty years ago, on the 11th of December 2000, INFN and CNRS, later joined by NIKHEF, founded the European Gravitational Observatory to give a home to the pioneering Virgo gravitational detector. In the years that followed EGO became a prime example of international and scientific co-operation and a site of development of cutting edge technology. It accompanies and contributes to the discoveries made by the Virgo and LIGO collaborations that are triggering a scientific revolution in fundamental physics.

Stavros Katsanevas, the EGO director said “For the 20 year anniversary of EGO, one has to celebrate the vision of the founding agencies that created a pioneering  institution to accompany what appeared back then a very risky project and the ingenuity and persistence of the Virgo collaboration and the EGO scientists, engineers and personnel that finally led to the extraordinary gravitational wave  discoveries.”

Marco Pallavicini the EGO consortium president said “The pleasure of commemoration of the 20 year EGO anniversary is further intensified by the fact that the funding agencies recently signed the continuation of the consortium for the next crucial years and, above all, that the EGO council is happy to announce the entrance of NIKHEF  as new member!”

Giovanni Losurdo, Virgo spokesperson, said: “We celebrate this twentieth anniversary looking forward, starting with the completion of the AdV+ program which will allow for new, relevant discoveries in the next runs, O4 and O5. But we also look beyond, to the possibility of further improving Virgo in the following years, until Einstein Telescope comes.”


Happy birthday EGO!
The spectrogram shows the simulation of the signal emitted by a deformed neutron stars spinning 50 times per second and orbiting a companion with an orbital period of 50 days. The overall frequency scale, 100 Hz, is given by twice the rotational frequency of the body. The widest oscillations, with periodicity of 365 days, correspond to the doppler modulation induced by the orbital motion of the Earth around the sun. The narrower ones, with a periodicity of 50 days, correspond to the orbital motion of the neutron star around its companion.

Marco Pallavicini, EGO consortium president, Giovanni Losurdo, Virgo spokesperson and Stavros Katsanevas, EGO director (from right to left), today at EGO.