An illustration of two neutron stars spinning around each other while merging.
NASA/CXC/Trinity University/D. Pooley et al.
Astronomers are now able to detect a host of signals streaming through the universe. This newfound ability is like gaining new senses and it's opening the door to understanding the cosmos.
Technicians prepare Swift’s UVOT for vibration testing on Aug. 1, 2002, more than two years before launch, in the High Bay Clean Room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The Swift Observatory passed a milestone: 1 million snapshots of the universe. These exquisite and revealing pictures have captured the births and deaths of stars, gravitational waves and comets.
An artist’s depiction of a pair of neutron stars colliding.
To better detect gravitational waves, we need to build the quietest and most isolated thing on Earth. And make sure we don't drop those 40kg mirrors.
Neutron star merger.
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Astronomers are getting ready to say good bye to the radio emission from a neutron star merger – one of the most energetic events in the universe – that was detected last year.
ns gw art.
From a slow hum to a chirp or a bleep, what is that sound you hear whenever there's a new detection of gravitational waves?
Artist s impression of merging neutron stars.
Author University of Warwick/Mark Garlick
Cosmologists who were hoping to be the next Einstein have had to bin their theories.
Illustration of hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from the neutron stars just before they collided.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Until the recent observation of merging neutron stars, how the heaviest elements come to be was a mystery. But their fingerprints are all over this cosmic collision.
Supercomputer simulation of a pair of neutron stars colliding.
NASA/AEI/ZIB/M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla
A LIGO team member describes how the detection of a gravitational wave from a new source – merging neutron stars – vaults astronomy into a new era of 'multi-messenger' observations.
Artist’s impression of the collision of two neutron stars, the source of the latest gravitational waves detected.
National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet
Astronomers have finally confirmed the source of the latest detected gravitational waves was the collission of a pair of neutron stars, what they'd been searching for all along.
The Australia Telescope Compact Array in Narrabri, NSW.
All it took was a single email alert to send the world's astronomers searching for the source of the latest gravitational wave detected.
The Zadko telescope was set to study the optical glow following a gamma ray burst.
Efforts to see the afterglow from a neutron star merger were nearly thwarted by bad weather and a cyber attack on an Australian telescope.
Simulation of two neutron stars merging.
NASA/AEI/ZIB/M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla
The gravitational wave itself is the least exciting part of the announcement from LIGO and Virgo. Observing this new source answers many longstanding questions.
Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars.
National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet.
The discovery of tiny ripples in space from the violent collision of dense stars could help solve many mysteries – including where the gold in our jewellery comes from.
An illustration of the collision of two black holes, an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
The SXS (Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes) Project
The 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to scientists who helped pioneer the discovery of gravitational waves. Australia is playing an important role in gravitational-wave astronomy.
This year’s winners.
Illustration by N. Elmehed. NobelPrize.org
Razor-sharp, unconventional and fun on the dance floor. A colleague paints a colourful portrait of one of this year's Nobel Laureates in physics.
Virgo detector in Italy.
New results from Italy and the US help us better estimate the position of the merging black holes that produced the gravitational waves.
Black hole collision and merger releasing gravitational waves.
New research shows that as few as ten further detections of gravitational waves will help scientists know for sure how pairs of black holes form.
Some of the earliest known galaxies in the universe, seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Atoms blown up in the right way could signal when a gravitational wave is passing through.
A simulation of the latest binary black hole merger detected by LIGO. Blue indicates weak fields and yellow indicates strong fields.
Numerical-relativistic Simulation: S Ossokine, A Buonanno (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics) and the Simulating eXtreme Spacetime project Scientific Visualization: T Dietrich (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics), R Haas (NCSA)
Scientists have made a third detection of gravitational waves, again caused by the merger of two black holes. But they think there's something different about the black holes in this case.
Artist’s conception of two merging black holes, spinning in a nonaligned fashion.
LIGO/Caltech/MIT/Sonoma State (Aurore Simonnet)
These ripples in the very fabric of the universe were hypothesized by Einstein a century ago. Now scientists have detected them for the third time in a year and a half – ushering in a new era in astrophysics.