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  • News

    Neutron star collision showers the universe with a wealth of discoveries

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    WASHINGTON — Two ultradense cores of dead stars have produced a long-awaited cosmic collision, showering scientists with riches.

    The event was the first direct sighting of a smashup of neutron stars, which are formed when aging stars explode and leave behind a neutron-rich remnant. In the wake of the collision, the churning residue forged gold, silver, platinum and a...

    10/16/2017 - 10:00 Astronomy
  • News

    Trio wins physics Nobel Prize for gravitational wave detection

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    Subtle cosmic vibrations kicked up by swirling black holes have captured the public imagination — and the minds of the physics Nobel Prize committee members, too.

    Three scientists who laid the groundwork for the first direct detection of gravitational waves have won the Nobel Prize in physics. Rainer Weiss of MIT, and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, both of Caltech,...

    10/03/2017 - 06:08 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Trio of detectors tracks gravitational waves to their home

    The gravitational wave paparazzi have tracked down the cosmic neighborhood of two merging black holes. Scientists pinpointed the region in the sky where the two black holes violently melded and kicked up swirls of the spacetime ripples, locating their stomping grounds more precisely than ever before.

    Researchers from LIGO — the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory...

    09/27/2017 - 14:26 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Rumors swirl that LIGO snagged gravitational waves from a neutron star collision

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    Speculation is running rampant about potential new discoveries of gravitational waves, just as the latest search wound down August 25.

    Publicly available logs from astronomical observatories indicate that several telescopes have been zeroing in on one particular region of the sky, potentially in response to a detection of ripples in spacetime by the Advanced Laser...

    08/25/2017 - 15:14 Astronomy, Physics
  • News in Brief

    Swift kick from a supernova could knock a black hole askew

    Gravitational waves are providing new hints about how black holes get their kicks.

    The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s detection of spacetime ripples from two merging black holes on December 26, 2015, indicated that one black hole was spinning like a tilted top as it orbited with its companion (SN: 7/9/16, p. 8). That off-kilter spin could mean that the...

    06/09/2017 - 14:37 Physics
  • News

    LIGO snags another set of gravitational waves

    For a third time, scientists have detected the infinitesimal reverberations of spacetime: gravitational waves.

    Two black holes stirred up the spacetime wiggles, orbiting one another and spiraling inward until they fused into one jumbo black hole with a mass about 49 times that of the sun. Ripples from that union, which took place about 3 billion light-years from Earth, zoomed across the...

    06/01/2017 - 11:00 Physics, Astronomy
  • Feature

    Year in review: Gravitational waves offer new cosmic views

    The secrets gleaned from the universe’s most mysterious giants are incongruously subtle when witnessed at Earth: Detectors budge by a tiny fraction of a proton’s breadth, outputting a feeble, birdlike chirp.

    For centuries, astronomers have peered out into the universe almost exclusively by observing its light. But 2016’s announcement of the first detection of gravitational waves,...

    12/14/2016 - 07:41 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    LIGO’s black holes may be dark matter

    The black holes that produced the first detected gravitational waves may have exotic origins in the early universe.

    When the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, glimpsed gravitational waves from two merging black holes, scientists were surprised at how large the black holes were — about 30 times the mass of the sun (SN: 3/5/16, p. 6). Inspired by this...

    08/07/2016 - 07:00 Physics
  • News

    More events needed to pin down gravitational waves backstory

    SAN DIEGO — While astrophysicists celebrate the second detection of ripples in spacetime (SN Online: 6/15/16), they are also looking ahead to figuring out what led to these cosmic quakes. Black holes colliding in remote galaxies sent the gravitational waves our way. But how these duos ended up in an ill-fated embrace in the first place is unknown.

    With only two clear detections from the...

    06/19/2016 - 07:00 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Second gravitational wave signal detected

    For the second time, scientists have glimpsed elusive ripples that vibrate the fabric of space. A new observation of gravitational waves, announced by scientists with the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, follows their first detection, reported earlier this year (SN: 3/5/16, p. 6). The second detection further opens a new window through which to observe the...

    06/15/2016 - 13:15 Physics, Astronomy