Gravitational Waves At Last!

What is a gravitational wave?

Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space! Think about throwing a rock into the water. The water appears to stretch and squeeze back in again. Similarly, gravitational ripples cause space to stretch and squeeze back again.

Einstein actually predicted gravitational waves 100 years ago. Although finding these waves took a great deal of time and effort. On February 11, 2016, scientists announced that they have found them! Hip-hip hooray!

The waves came from another galaxy far, far, far, away. How far away you ask? Well between 750 million and 1.86 billion light-years away! Can you imagine?

At this galaxy, there were two black holes that collided, which caused the fabric of space and time, or space-time to shake. Yikes! Down here on Earth, two giant detectors in different parts of America shivered as gravity waves washed over them.

Watch the video below for more information!

Vocabulary:

Black Hole:  A region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation (including light) can escape.