Scientists Confirm Gravitational Waves Have Been Discovered

| by Sean Kelly
Gravitational wavesGravitational waves

Scientists announced the discovery of gravitational waves, supporting predictions made within Einstein's theory of relativity. 

"We have detected gravitational waves. We did it," David Reitze, executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), said.

The discovery was made based on ripples in space-time detected by LIGO that were caused by the merging of two black holes.

The confirmation of gravitational waves confirmed a missing piece of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which gives scientists a better understanding of the Big Bang and the birth of the universe.

"What's really exciting is what comes next," said Reitze. "I think we're opening a window on the universe -- a window of gravitational wave astronomy."

LIGO scientists said that the waves were produced during the final fraction of a second in the merger of two black holes, which produced a single massive black hole.

The collision of two black holes, according to the Daily Mirror, had never before been observed.

"This discovery comes at the culmination of decades of instrument research and development, through a world-wide effort of thousands of researchers," LIGO scientists said. 

"It also proves a prediction made 100 years ago by Einstein that gravitational waves exist. More excitingly, it marks the beginning of a new era of gravitational wave astronomy – the possibilities for discovery are as rich and boundless as they have been with light-based astronomy."

Sources: CNN, Daily Mirror / Photo credit: The Guardian

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