Gravitational-wave astronomy is an emerging branch of observational astronomy which aims to use gravitational waves minute distortions of spacetime predicted by Albert Einstein 's theory of general relativity to collect observational data about objects such as neutron stars and black holes , events such as supernovae , and processes including those of the early universe shortly after the Big Bang. Gravitational waves have a solid theoretical basis, founded upon the theory of relativity. They were first predicted by Einstein in ; although a specific consequence of general relativity, they are a common feature of all theories of gravity that obey special relativity. Indirect observational evidence for their existence first came in the late s, from the monitoring of the Hulse—Taylor binary pulsar discovered ; the pulsar orbit was found to evolve exactly as would be expected for gravitational wave emission. On 11 February it was announced that the LIGO collaboration had directly observed gravitational waves for the first time in September The second observation of gravitational waves was made on 26 December and announced on 15 June
6 Amazing Facts About Gravitational Waves and LIGO
Explore every gravitational wave event spotted so far | Science News
February 22, Rochester Institute of Technology researchers continue exploring gravitational waves in a series of upcoming papers. Their reports follow the first direct detection of these waves, predicted by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. The international collaboration of scientists associated with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory published its findings on Feb. Upcoming publications listing the RIT authors investigate properties of the binary black hole merger and infer the rate of such mergers based on their implications for the gravitational wave background. LIGO's discovery is consistent with the specific method O'Shaughnessy and his collaborators use to predict how massive stars evolve into black holes and form merging pairs.
Explore every gravitational wave event spotted so far
Paul M. Gravitational waves slosh throughout the universe as ripples in space-time produced by some of the most cataclysmic events possible. But gravitational waves leave behind a memory — a permanent bend in space-time — as they pass through, and we are now on the verge of being able to detect that too, allowing us to push our understanding of gravity to the limits.
Gravitational waves are disturbances in the curvature of spacetime , generated by accelerated masses, that propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light. The first indirect evidence for the existence of gravitational waves came from the observed orbital decay of the Hulse—Taylor binary pulsar , which matched the decay predicted by general relativity as energy is lost to gravitational radiation. In , Russell A. Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. The first direct observation of gravitational waves was not made until , when a signal generated by the merger of two black holes was received by the LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Livingston and in Hanford.