For the first time, scientists have detected gravitational waves - the ripples in space and time predicted by Albert Einstein - from the collision of two neutron stars about 130 million years ago. Linda So reports.
For the first time, scientists have observed the results of two stars crashing into each other, a cosmic collision ushering in a new chapter in astronomy.
The two neutron stars collided some 130 million years ago creating both light and gravitational waves -- the ripples in space and time first predicted by Albert Einstein.
VICKY KALOGERA, ASTROPHYSICIST, SAYING: "Over a century ago, Einstein predicted that two orbiting objects will emit gravitational waves as they spiral in and astrophysicists predicted that as the two compact objects collide they should emit gamma rays and jets and a cascade of light across the whole electro-magnetic spectrum was predicted."
The crash also explains where gold may have come from.
DR. DAVID REITZE, SCIENTIST, SAYING: "This is my great grandfather's gold watch. It's about 100 years old. The gold in this watch was very likely produced in the collision of two neutron stars approximately billions of years ago."
The crash was first detected in August by gravity wave machines at LIGO Laboratories in Louisiana and Washington state as well as at a third detector named Virgo in Italy.
The National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the U.S. government, provided about $1.1 billion in funding for the LIGO research over 40 years.