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Birth of a New Science: LIGO and the Discovery of Gravitational Waves
In February 2016 a large team of scientists stunned the world by announcing the discovery of gravitational waves from merging black holes. These long-sought ripples in the fabric of space-time are predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, but are extraordinarily difficult to detect. The discovery by LIGO was not only an astounding technological achievement, it opens up a new window for studying the universe. If history is a guide to the future, expect revolutionary science in the years ahead.
Robert Naeye was editor in chief of Sky & Telescope from 2008 to 2014. He has authored two books, contributed to two others, and has won multiple awards for his contributions to science communication.