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gravitational waves

David Reitze of the California Institute of Technology and the executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, speaks at the National Press Club in Washington on Oct. 16. He talks of one of the most violent events in the cosmos, the collision of neuron stars, that was witnessed completely for the first time in August. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

The collision of two neutron stars, seen in an artist's rendering, created both gravitational waves and gamma rays. Researchers used those signals to locate the event with optical telescopes. Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science hide caption

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Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science

Astronomers Strike Gravitational Gold In Colliding Neutron Stars

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Einstein realized that if masses moved about, the deformations in space would also move about, propagating like waves, somewhat like what happens when you throw a rock on a pond. But, gravity being such a weak force, the effect is truly tiny and needs something very dramatic to create a signal we can detect here. This is exactly what was found by LIGO and the Nobel winners. traveler1116/Getty Images hide caption

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traveler1116/Getty Images

Spiral galaxy NGC 6814, whose luminous nucleus and spectacular sweeping arms, rippled with an intricate pattern of dark dust, are captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. ESA/Hubble & NASA hide caption

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ESA/Hubble & NASA

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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LIGO/T. Pyle

Gravitational Waves From Colliding Black Holes Shake Scientists' Detectors Again

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

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Courtesy of SXS Collaboration

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

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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 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

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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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Matt Heintze/Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab

An image of the large spiral galaxy NGC 1232, located about 100 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus (The River). The central areas contain older stars of reddish color, while the spiral arms are populated by young, blue stars and many star-forming regions. ESO hide caption

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ESO