Thursday morning was a pivotal time in the science community. While in Washington D.C., scientists from Cal Tech scientists confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.
Only existing in theory for almost 100 years, these waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time. Scientists at LIGO say they offer a new way of observing the universe and will give us more information about the cosmos that we would never have been able to see without them.
"This gives us a new window to the universe," explained KPCC science reporter Sanden Totten. "One scientist from USC explained it to me this way: you walk into an art gallery and you're only allowed to see yellow. You may pick up some of the paintings, you may be able to see some of the images but you're missing a lot, right? And then you add the color blue and you get a little bit more. Well, gravitational waves are like adding another filter to our ability to look at the universe."
So now that we have this new tool to look further into the universe, what are we going to look for? Totten broke it down in layman's terms for Take Two's Deepa Fernandes:
"Scientists today said, 'We may see things we've never even thought to look for before.' There's a chance that these black holes and neutron stars are just the beginning but there's a whole wild wooly universe out there that we've never been able to experience and now that we have the ears for it, these gravitational wave detectors, we might find out about them."
To better understand the implications of this announcement, click the blue play button above.
Update: LIGO's Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 for confirming the existence of gravitational waves.