The gravitational wave signals detected by the twin LIGO stations
One hundred years after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, scientists have finally spotted these elusive ripples in space-time. In a highly anticipated announcement, physicists with the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) revealed on 11 February that their twin detectors have heard the gravitational ‘ringing’ produced by the collision of two black holes about 400 megaparsecs (1.3 billion light-years) from Earth.
Einstein published the first papers predicting the existence of gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time — almost a century ago. Physicists at the recently upgraded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have announced that they have measured these cosmic deformations, opening up a new field of gravitational-wave astronomy. Discover Nature’s coverage of the unfolding story and other gravitational-wave experiments, as well as everything you ever wanted to know about Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Image credit: MPI/Gravitational Physics/ITP Frankfurt/ZI Berlin
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