Local scientists detect gravitational waves from black holes colliding

By Tori Youngblood

HANFORD, Wash. (KAPP) -- The LIGO Hanford Observatory detected gravitational waves that occurred when two black holes collided about 2 billion years ago.

Detectors in Louisiana, Washington, and a Virgo detector in Italy helped scientists detect the gravitational waves form the binary black hole system.

"The reason why we wanted to do this was because it's possible to obtain information and look at the phenomena that was not possible at all," said Keita Kawabe, a physicist at LIGO.

Kawabe said the bigger the black hole is, the bigger the waves are because of immense energy being emitted.

"To me this is very exciting because you know many people worked very hard for a long time," said Kawabe. "To open the new window to the universe through which we look at things."

Kawabe said scientists hope to continue using the detectors to find more binary systems in the universe.


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