Thursday, February 11, 2016

Breakthrough: Scientists detect Einstein-predicted ripples - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Breakthrough: Scientists detect Einstein-predicted ripples - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social: " In an announcement that electrified the world of astronomy, scientists said Thursday that they have finally detected gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago. MORE Scientists in Louisiana detect gravitational waves, 100 years after Einstein's prediction Scientists have made the first-ever detection of ripples in space, known as gravitational waves, from the collision of two black holes in the distant universe, officials announced Thursday morning.   The waves were first detected at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, LIGO, in Livingston, Louisiana.   The waves were detected on Sept. 14, 2015 by both LIGO Observatories in Livingston and Washington state. According to a news release, the detection of the gravitational waves confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, 100 years after that theory was published.   Based on their detections, LIGO scientists estimate the two black holes were 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun and the collision took place 1.3 billion years ago.  According to scientists, the collision of the black holes form a single black hole, converting a portion of the hole's mass into energy.  That energy is emitted as a final burst of gravitational radiation.  Some scientists likened the breakthrough to the moment Galileo took up a telescope to look at the planets. The discovery of these waves, created by violent collisions in the universe, excites astronomers because it opens the door to a new way of observing the cosmos. For them, it's like turning a silent movie into a talkie because these waves are the soundtrack of the cosmos. "Until this moment we had our eyes on the sky and we couldn't hear the music," said Columbia University astrophysicist Szabolcs Marka, a member of the discovery team. "The skies will never be the same." An all-star international team of astrophysicists used a newly upgraded and excruciatingly sensitive $1.1 billion instrument known as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, to detect a gravitational wave from the distant crash of two black holes, one of the ways these ripples are created."

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