Friday, May 27, 2016

Gravitational Wave Signal

Gravitational waves from a double black hole merger about 1.3 billion light-years away from us were directly detected on September 14, 2015. This gigantic, distant, and ancient event caused our space-time to expand and contract by 1/100,000 of a nanometer due to the sub-atomic effects of passing gravitational waves. They were measured by the two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors last year, while it recently made big headlines earlier this year celebrating 100 years of Albert Einstein's general relativity. This measurement provides a verification of the theory's correctness, more proof for the existence of black holes, and reveals a phenomenon which had never before been directly seen in nature, opening windows into new areas of astronomy and cosmology research.

""These amazing observations are the confirmation of a lot of theoretical work, including Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which predicts gravitational waves,” says physicist Stephen Hawking at the University of Cambridge, UK" (source).

A double black hole merger from long ago recently caused minute changes in our space-time (Image: LIGO).

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