In 2017, an international group of astronomers and physicists excitedly reported the first simultaneous detection of light and gravitational waves from the same source–a merger of two neutron stars. In the world of astrophysics, Aug. 17, 2017, was a red-letter day. “This is a game-changer for astrophysics,” said UC Santa Barbara faculty member Andy Howell, who leads the supernova group at the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO). “A hundred years after Einstein theorized gravitational waves, we’ve seen them and traced them back to their source to find an explosion with new physics of the kind we’ve only dreamed about.”
Another amazing week of news from the Cosmos: from Einstein’s forgotten idea that might save cosmology to the physicist who denies that dark matter exists to black holes may be expanding along with our Universe. This week’s Galaxy Report brings you news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and adds a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch.
A gravitational wave isn’t a ripple through objects in spacetime; it passes through spacetime itself. Gravitational waves make the Universe itself vibrate, says Brian Clegg, author of Gravitational Waves: How Einstein’s Spacetime Ripples Reveal the Secrets of the Universe.