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Scientists detected ripples in space and time from a potentially new class of collision in the universe. Their observatory cracked a 100-year-old mystery posed by Einstein.

Scientists detected ripples in space and time from a potentially new class of collision in the universe. Their observatory cracked a 100-year-old mystery posed by Einstein.
National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet



Large collisions in space, like those between black holes or neutron stars, create ripples in space-time called gravitational waves. The phenomenon was first predicted by Albert Einstein.




The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) recently sensed gravitational waves from a collision of two neutron stars — the second such event ever detected.




But these neutron stars were more massive than scientists thought possible, and nobody picked up light or radiation from the aftermath of their collision.




That could indicate a new a new type of collision in deep space, in which neutron stars meet and immediately collapse into a black hole.




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Scientists may have stumbled upon a previously unknown class of massive collision in the universe.
On Monday, researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced that they had yet again detected ripples in space-time. They think these particular disturbances in the fabric of the universe — which were observed in April 2019 — came from the collision of two neutron stars, the super-dense remnants of dead stars.
That would make this the second neutron-star collision ever detected, but it was quite different from the earlier one.
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