Lasers and mirrors are used to carefully measure shifts in space-time. To avoid contamination, protective clothing must be worn at all times. LIGO Lab/Caltech/MIT hide caption

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How To Catch The Biggest Wave In The Universe

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The black holes were 14 and 8 times the mass of the sun. As they spiraled together, they sent out gravitational waves. LIGO/T. Pyle hide caption

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Gravitational Waves From Colliding Black Holes Shake Scientists' Detectors Again

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This computer-simulated image shows a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy. The cosmic monster's powerful gravity distorts space around it like the mirror in a fun house, smearing the light from nearby stars. NASA/ESA/D. Coe, J. Anderson and R. van der Marel (Space Telescope Science Institute) hide caption

toggle caption NASA/ESA/D. Coe, J. Anderson and R. van der Marel (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Supermassive Black Holes May Be More Common Than Anyone Imagined

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An image from a simulation of two black holes merging. Courtesy of SXS Collaboration hide caption

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Einstein, A Hunch And Decades Of Work: How Scientists Found Gravitational Waves

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A simulation shows gravitational waves coming from two black holes as they spiral in together. S. Ossokine , A. Buonanno (MPI for Gravitational Physics)/W. Benger (Airborne Hydro Mapping GmbH) hide caption

toggle caption S. Ossokine , A. Buonanno (MPI for Gravitational Physics)/W. Benger (Airborne Hydro Mapping GmbH)

In Milestone, Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves As Black Holes Collide

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A LIGO optics technician inspects one of LIGO's core optics by illuminating its surface with light. It is critical to LIGO's operation that there is no contamination on any of its optical surfaces. Matt Heintze/Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab hide caption

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Nobel Prize-winning physicist Charles Townes was single-minded about a lot of things, colleagues say. And also a very nice guy. Julian Wasser/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty hide caption

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Charles Townes, Laser Pioneer, Black Hole Discoverer, Dies At 99

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Physics is full of big, interesting questions about phenomenon such as black holes. This illustration shows the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus. M. Kornmesser/ESO hide caption

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This artist's impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus. M. Kornmesser/ESO hide caption

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