First detection of gravitational waves from neutron-star crash marks new era of astronomy
By Mike Wall
October 16, 2017, 3:06:21 PM EDT
A new era of astronomy has begun.
For the first time ever, scientists have spotted both gravitational waves and light coming from the same cosmic event — in this case, the cataclysmic merger of two superdense stellar corpses known as neutron stars.
The landmark discovery initiates the field of "multimessenger astrophysics," which promises to reveal exciting new insights about the cosmos, researchers said. The find also provides the first solid evidence that neutron-star smashups are the source of much of the universe's gold, platinum and other heavy elements. [Gravitational Waves from Neutron Stars: The Discovery Explained]
How do researchers describe the finding? "Superlatives fail," said Richard O'Shaughnessy, a scientist with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) project.
"This is a transformation in the way that we're going to do astronomy," O'Shaughnessy, who's based at the Rochester Institute of Technology's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation, told Space.com. "It's fantastic."
More Weather News
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 3:14:44 PM EST
Residents of northern Queensland are enduring a second and more severe strike by Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen to start the weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 1:10:54 PM EST
Holiday shopping plans and festivities can be disrupted as a period of snow or icy mix is anticipated to cause slick travel from northern France to Germany this weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:32:44 AM EST
A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal is on track to strengthen into a tropical cyclone with eventual impacts to eastern India later this weekend and early next week.
In case you missed it: Deadly snowstorm pummels South; Strongest Tennessee earthquake in 45 years shakes Atlanta
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:30:28 AM EST
The strongest earthquake to hit the southern U.S. in 45 years rattled Tennessee to Georgia this week while a snowstorm wreaked havoc from the Carolinas to Virginia.
What can homeowners in high-risk areas do if they're struggling to obtain, keep wildfire insurance coverage?
Homeowners in wildfire-prone areas could potentially find themselves struggling to get insurers to cover them.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:21:04 AM EST
The northern edge of a storm with flooding rain in the southeastern United States will bring rain, fog, ice and a wintry mix to portions of the Northeast this weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:24:12 AM EST
A multi-faceted winter storm is taking aim at the United Kingdom, threatening to cause widespread travel hazards and disruptions this weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 10:12:41 AM EST
The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed withdrawing federal protections for countless waterways and wetlands across the United States through rollbacks in the Clean Water Act.