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We've Found Gravitational Waves, Now What?

David Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, took the podium at the National Press Building in Washington, DC, this morning, and said the words we’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to hear: “We have discovered gravitational waves.” And a packed auditorium in Caltech’s Cahill building in Pasadena — where people had gathered to watch the live feed — erupted into wild applause.


Watch Live As Physicists Discuss Today's Gravitational Wave Announcement

Video: The rumours were true! This morning leaders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves. In honour of this momentous discovery, the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, is hosting a live webcast today at 1pm EST (5am AEDT): “Ripple Effects: A Forum on Gravitational Waves”.


There's Something Very Ominous Going On Near This Supermassive Black Hole

What’s this, you ask? Oh, it’s nothing. Just a supermassive black hole blasting a giant x-ray beam over a 300,000 light year-wide gulf of intergalactic space.


The Best Ever View Of Our Closest Neighbouring Galaxy Has Something Very Strange In It

This is the Andromeda galaxy, our very own Milky Way’s next-door neighbour. It’s the best look we’ve ever managed to get at it — and there’s something very strange hidden in this picture.


Black Holes Only Go Truly Black If They're Really Big

Black holes don’t emit light, but they still shine. They do so because of accretion disks, but those disks don’t appear around black holes of all sizes. There could be incredibly huge black holes out in the universe that we can’t see, because they have gone really dark.


We Finally Know What's Inside These Mysterious Black Hole Clouds

Black holes are some of the strangest objects in the universe. But, just as impenetrable a mystery? The heavy cloud cover encircling some black holes. Now, for the first time, researchers say they have managed to get a glimpse inside of one of those clouds. And what they found has some serious implications for our most basic understanding of black holes.


There Actually Is Sound In Outer Space

You’ve heard it before: In space, no one can hear you scream. That’s because sound doesn’t move through a vacuum, and everyone knows that space is a vacuum. The thing is, that’s not completely true.


This Is What It Looks Like When A Black Hole Shreds A Star

When a star wanders too close to a black hole, immense gravitational forces begin to rip it apart in an epic cosmic slaying called a “tidal disruption event.” Some of the star’s mass is flung outward into space, while the rest is drawn in, triggering a powerful flare that showers the sky with x-rays.


Two Black Holes Are About To Smash Into Each Other

Three and a half billion light years away in the Virgo constellation, two supermassive black holes are on the verge of smacking into one another. In 100,000 years, their cosmic collision will send ripples across the fabric of spacetime.


How To Spot A Black Hole

You don’t need to be a professional astronomer to find black holes. Here’s how you can spot one, using just your laptop or phone.


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