Atom & Cosmos

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CONSTRUCTION AHEAD  A ring of carbon monoxide gas (blue) and dust (red) roughly 300 times as wide as Earth’s orbit encircles the binary star HD 142527 (not visible) in this composite image. The dust concentration might be a region where planetary building blocks are forming. 

gravitational waves illustrated

Scientists announced February 11 that they have detected the ripples in spacetime caused by a black hole merger, regardless of whether you call those ripples “gravitational waves” or “gravity waves.” 

LIGO detector arm in Hanford, Wash.

LISTENING FOR GRAVITY WAVES  Two stainless steel tubes, 4 kilometers long, house laser beams and mirrors to detect waves from space at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory site in Hanford, Wash. Researchers with Advanced LIGO announced February 11 that they have directly observed gravitational waves.

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