Gravitational waves the greatest discovery of 2017
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Gravitational waves the greatest discovery of 2017

The LIGO and VIRGO detectors detected a unique type of gravitational wave that was coming out from the collision of two distant neutron stars located around 130 million years away from earth. This detection of gravitational waves generating from the merger of two neutron stars has been declared the scientific breakthrough of the year by the journal Science.

Albert Einstein hypothesised the gravitational waves way back in 1915, which got success when the scientists finally detected the waves in 2016. Earlier scientists thought that the gravitational waves were emerging from the collision of two black holes.

According to the scientists, when the neutrons come together swirling they emit gravitational waves and when they collide they release a flash of light in the form of gamma rays. LIGO team detected this flash of light on August 17, 2017. Concerning the cosmic research, the detection of gravitational waves emerging out from neutron star is considered very significant.

The brilliant and genius scientist Albert Einstein predicted the gravitational waves in his theory of relativity which states that gravity generated by heavy objects twist space-time continuum. He spent ten years trying to include acceleration in theory and then his theory of general relativity issued in 1915. In which he determined that large objects in spacetime cause distortion which generates gravity. Many scientists opposed his theory at that time as there was no clue to prove it. But 100 years later LIGO scientists have confirmed it and showed that the genius was right and way ahead of his time.

The gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, and carry a lot of data about our origin and universe. According to the reports, the collision of the two ultra-dense stars confirmed several critical astrophysical models, unveiled many heavy elements and tested the theory of relativity as never before. An astrophysicist at NASA Eleonora Troja said that these discoveries are just the beginning.

The theory concluded that this cosmic cataclysm gave rise to kilonova, a never seen before the event. A kilonova is a violent cosmic event that equals to 1000 supernovas. The successful detection of gravitational waves coming out from a kilonova event emerging from the collision of two neutron stars has provided new insight into the field of space science. Another achievement is that this time those gravitational waves were detected by conventional earth-based telescope.

The great news is that LIGO will be soon opened in India and scientists have already started working on the project LIGO India. The lab will become operational within seven years allowing scientists to conduct their research.