LIGO opens up New Era of Astronomy by Again Detecting Gravitational Waves
Once again, Albert Einstein’s gravitational waves have been detected directly by astronomers. Both the times the waves were noticed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Like the first discovery, the signal was from a collision between two black holes, said the LIGO team. Before this, first direct detection of gravitational waves was announced in February this year.
It was a remarkable moment when the ripple was observed for the first time, but another detection of the wave has proved that cosmos is full of binary black holes, said Salvatore Vitale, a researcher in the LIGO team and a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Gravitational waves were first theorized by famous physicist Albert Einstein in 1916. These are ripples in the fabric of space and time throughout the universe. The scientist revealed a century ago that the universe has gravitational waves, but he didn’t observe them directly. These waves were detected directly 100 years after Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The discovery not only proves Einstein right, but also opens the doors for new era of astronomy.
Until recently, astronomers didn’t have enough tools and machinery to detect gravitational waves in space. LIGO spent more than $570 million and about four decades to develop tools that could revolutionize the astronomy sector. Today, the facility allows astronomers to explore universe using a new lens. By studying gravitational waves, scientists could learn more about black holes, which are a mystery for them since a long time.
“As you can imagine, for most of us, these detections have had a very strong impact on our lives, because we’d been waiting for this for a very long time. It’s been an incredible experience, the last few months”, said Lisa Barsotti, a member of LIGO team.
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