In February of 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made history by announcing the first-ever detection of gravitational waves (GWs). These ripples in the very fabric of the Universe, which are caused by black hole mergers or white dwarfs colliding, were first predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity roughly a century ago.
There was a lot of excitement last year when the LIGO collaboration detected gravitational waves, which are ripples in the fabric of space itself. And it’s no wonder – it was one of the most important discoveries of the century. By measuring gravitational waves from intense astrophysical processes like merging black holes, the experiment opens up a completely new way of observing and understanding the universe.
For the third time in a year and a half, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory has detected gravitational waves. Hypothesized by Einstein a century ago, the identification of these ripples in space-time – for the third time, no less – is fulfilling the promise of an area of astronomy that has enticed scientists for decades, but had always seemed to lie just out of our reach.