Only months after the historic discovery of gravitational waves, physicists have done it again! LIGO has detected ANOTHER black hole collision and confirmed the first gravitational wave detection wasn't a one-off.
On Dec. 26, the extremely faint spacetime ripples washed through our planet and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, was listening. The US-based detector recorded the distinctive gravitational wave "chirp", meaning that, once again, we were witness to a collision of cataclysmic proportions.
These ripples in spacetime were first theorized by Albert Einstein over 100 years ago when he formulated his theory of general relativity , but it's only now that humanity has the tools to actually prove they exist. And this most recent detection is a firm confirmation that, once again, Einstein was right.
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In a galaxy, some 1.4 billion light-years away, two small black holes got stuck in an inescapable gravitational spiral. Their fate was sealed; they fell closer and closer until they rapidly span around one another, colliding and merging as one. Like the first historic detection of gravitational waves in September, this most recent signal originated from a black hole merger, an event that shines a previously unattainable light on one of the most violent collisions in the universe.