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National Science Foundation Media Event

NSF LIGO media event

National Science Foundation Media Event
for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration
February 11, 2016

LIGO Detected Gravitational Waves from Black Holes
On September 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (09:51 UTC), the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA both measured ripples in the fabric of spacetime – gravitational waves – arriving at the Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. The new Advanced LIGO detectors had just been brought into operation for their first observing run when the very clear and strong signal was captured.

Read more …

Over the Sun, LLC provided b-roll, animations, and hi-resolution clips from the 2 films it had produced for Caltech and the University of Mississippi, “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding” and “LIGO Generations” respectively, both NSF funded short, documentary-styled films.

Caltech, MIT, Discovery Channel Canada and US, and several university and broadcast organisations world-wide, used OTS footage as an integral foundation for their timely media releases to celebrate this discovery.

National Press Club, Press Conference

  • Direct webcast of Press Conference: 9,994 live views
  • YouTube webcast of Press Conference: 430,351 live views

LIGO Detects Gravitational Wave
(longer version of the introductory video which played at the Press Conference, above)
by Joe McMaster, MIT

LIGO: Opening a New Window Onto the Universe
by Leslie Maxfield, Caltech

LIGO: The First Observation of Gravitational Waves
by James Round, NASA JPL


“LIGO Generations”

LIGO Generations by Kai Staats LIGO Generations by Kai Staats LIGO Generations by Kai Staats LIGO Generations by Kai Staats

This 2nd in a series of films about LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) was funded by the National Science Foundation through the University of Mississippi. This film tells the story of three generations of researchers and scientists who have dedicated their lives to one of the most advanced astronomical tools on the planet, in search of evidence for the final, missing piece to Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

Shot at MIT and the LIGO Livingston Observatory, Louisianna, “Generations” premiered at Space.com January 30, 2015.

Watch the film | Watch other films about LIGO


“LIGO – A Passion for Understanding”

LIGO, Passion for Understanding by Kai Staats LIGO, Passion for Understanding by Kai Staats LIGO, Passion for Understanding by Kai Staats LIGO, Passion for Understanding by Kai Staats

Over the Sun, LLC was contracted by the Caltech, one of the managing partners of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), to produce a short documentary film titled, “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding.” This film brings to life one of the most important astronomical tools of our time while telling the human story of creativity, passion, and drive to understand the very fabric of the Universe in which we live.

Shot at the LIGO Hanford Observatory, Washington State, “A Passion for Understanding” premiered at Space.com April 15, 2014.

Watch the film | Watch other films about LIGO


MDRS Mars Crew 134 Astronaut Analog

MarsCrew134 MarsCrew134 MarsCrew134 MarsCrew134

On January 18, 2014 a crew of six highly qualified scientists and engineers and one documentary film maker will enter the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the high, winter desert near Hanksville, Utah, for the duration of two weeks.

Simulated off-world, isolated habitats (analogs) have been used by universities and government sponsored space programs for decades as a means of conducting astronaut training, psychological and food studies, and to test equipment and new technologies which will be used in real space programs.

Over the Sun’s Kai Staats lived and worked as a Technician and embedded filmmaker with MarsCrew134. Kai captured the full Mission on film through six short videos produced exclusively for Space.com.

Watch the short films | Learn more about the Mars Society


“Chasing Asteroid 1998 QE2”

Chasing Asteroid 1998 QE2 by Kai Staats Chasing Asteroid 1998 QE2 by Kai Staats Chasing Asteroid 1998 QE2 by Kai Staats Chasing Asteroid 1998 QE2 by Kai Staats

Discovered on August 19, 1998, by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, New Mexico, asteroid 1998 QE2 is 2.75 kilometers in diameter [Dr. Lance A. M. Benner, 2013]. It has a well understood orbit that brings it near to Earth every 14 years [JPL Small-Body Database Browser].

The South African Astronomical Observatory was instrumental in this particular pass by joining a network of observatories around the world to provide photometry and photographs. Over the Sun’s Kai Staats was on-site for the evening of this exciting observation, as captured in this short film.

Watch the film | Watch other films about the SAAO