LIGO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIGO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sky map of the southern hemisphere showing the location of the source of gravitational waves detected on 14th September 2015 by the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) gravitational wave detector. The source was at a distance of 1.3 billion light years in the direction of the Magellanic Clouds. The coloured outlines represent probabilities for the signals origin; the purple outline defines the region where the signal is predicted to have come from with a 90 per cent confidence level,the inner yellow outline defines the region with a 10 per cent confidence level. Gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime that travel outward from a central source. In this case the source was two colliding black holes. Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein in 1916, and remained undetected for a century.
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