LIGO / CALTECH / MIT / SONOMA STATE (AURORE SIMONNET) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIGO / CALTECH / MIT / SONOMA STATE (AURORE SIMONNET) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Merging black holes. Illustration of two black holes spiralling around each other in a non-aligned fashion along an orbital plane. It is thought a system like this produced the gravitational waves of the GW170104 signal detection of 4 January 2017. The mergers of black holes cause gravitational waves, a prediction of Einstein's theory of general relativity. The effect is most pronounced where extremely massive objects (black holes or neutrons stars) are subject to extremely high acceleration. In February 2016, gravitational waves were detected for the first time, 100 years after Einstein's prediction. The waves were detected by the LIGO detectors in the USA.
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