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LIGO announcement of a neutron star merger in NGC 4993?
Twitter is not necessarily the first-choice medium for publishing scientific results, but sometimes rumors turn out to be true. On August 18th, J. Craig Wheeler of UT Austin tweeted: "New LIGO. Source with optical counterpart. Blow your sox off." Peter Yoachim at the University of Washington followed with tweets suggesting that the responsible party was a pair of neutron stars in the 40 Mpc-distant, and otherwise highly obscure galaxy NGC 4993.
As detailed in this Nature News article, numerous major telescopes, including HST and Chandra have recently been pointed at NGC 4993. The rumored gravitational wave event, furthermore, may be associated with the short gamma ray burst event SGRB 170817A.
Will a paper authored (or co-authored) by the LIGO Collaboration appear in a peer-reviewed journal prior to February 1, 2018 announcing with high confidence the detection of a neutron star merger in NGC 4993?
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.