Bizarre Black Holes Revealed by New Space-Time Ripples
More massive than expected, the black holes collided three billion years ago and sent gravitational waves washing over Earth.
A long time ago in a star cluster far, far away … two curiously massive black holes collided and became one, unleashing a torrent of energy that kinked the fabric of space-time itself.
Now, instruments on Earth have sensed the gentle ripples from that distant cosmic cataclysm, marking the third-ever confirmed direct detection of gravitational waves. The combined detections, all reported by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), are opening up a new window onto the cosmos.
Crucially, the waves carry information about their far-flung sources, and the results are challenging a bunch of ideas about how black holes grow, where they live, and how they end up locked in such violent, deadly dances. (Read “Astronomers May Finally