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The last century has seen enormous progress in our understanding of the Universe. We know the life cycles of stars, the structure of galaxies, the remnants of the big bang, and have a general understanding of how the Universe evolved. We have come remarkably far using electromagnetic radiation as our tool for observing the Universe. However, gravity is the(More)
We report the first results of the LISA Pathfinder in-flight experiment. The results demonstrate that two free-falling reference test masses, such as those needed for a space-based gravitational wave observatory like LISA, can be put in free fall with a relative acceleration noise with a square root of the power spectral density of 5.2±0.1  fm(More)
interferometric gravitational wave detectors must be isolated from seismic noise. The VIRGO vibration isolator, called superattenuator, is fully effective at frequencies above 4 Hz. Nevertheless, the residual motion of the mirror at the mechanical resonant frequencies of the system are too large for the interferometer locking system and must be damped. A(More)
The gravitational wave detector Virgo is presently being commissioned. A significant part of last year was spent in setting up the cavity length control system. This work was carried out with steps of increasing complexity: locking a simple FabryPerot cavity, then a Michelson interferometer with Fabry-Perot cavities in both arms, and finally recycling the(More)
We report J, H, and K photometry of 86 stars in 40 fields in the northern hemisphere. The fields are smaller than or comparable to a 4×4 arcmin field-of-view, and are roughly uniformly distributed over the sky, making them suitable for a homogeneous broadband calibration network for near-infrared panoramic detectors. K magnitudes range from 8.5 to 14, and J(More)
The knowledge of the noise Power Spectral Density of interferometric detector of gravitational waves is fundamental for detection algorithms and for the analysis of the data. In this paper we address both to the problem of identifying the noise Power Spectral Density of interferometric detectors by parametric techniques and to the problem of the whitening(More)
In this work we estimate the performance of a method for the detection of burst events in the data produced by interferometric gravitational wave detectors. We compute the receiver operating characteristics in the specific case of a simulated noise having the spectral density expected for Virgo, using test signals taken from a library of possible waveforms(More)
We have observed the high excitation planetary neb-ulae NGC 7027, NGC 6543 and the low excitation planetaries Hu 2-1 and Cn 3-1 in the optical & near IR with the aim to contribute accurate measurements of their gaseous iron abundances. Use was made of multi-level atomic models of iron ions to interpret the observed forbidden lines of various iron ions. The(More)
A torsion pendulum with 2 soft degrees of freedom (DOFs), realized by off-axis cascading two torsion fibers, has been built and operated. This instrument helps characterize the geodesic motion of a test mass for LISA Pathfinder or any other free-fall space mission, providing information on cross talk and other effects that cannot be detected when monitoring(More)