Existence of Gravitational Waves Predicted by Albert Einstein
|Cassiopieia supernova Photo Credit: WikiImages / Pixabay|
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have confirmed that gravitational “ripples in space” occur after the collision of neutron stars, very small (typically 18 miles across) and very dense bodies that are the remains of a massive star, after a supernova explosion.
On August 17, 2017, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in Louisiana and Washington and at the Virgo detector in Italy detected the first “ripples in space,” or gravitational waves, produced by the merger of two ancient remnants of stars known as neutron stars.
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The existence of gravitational waves was first predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago. They afford insight into an event that took place in a galaxy 120 million light years away and provide valuable information on the evolution of exploding neutron stars, as well as the origin of gold, uranium and other heavy metals on earth.
“It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this discovery,” says Prof. Poznanksi. “Until recently, we could observe the universe only through light waves that reached us. This new ability to study gravitational waves is analogous to a sense of touch. It’s as though we now have the ability to explore the universe through both sight and touch.”
“This discovery has allowed astronomers to combine gravitational waves with light and produce a detailed model of the emission for the first time. This introduces a new era in astronomy,”