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The 'ripples' caused by a huge collision between two black holes in a distant galaxy have reached our planet. Scientists detected gravitational waves from the collision, leading to a new black hole, which is about 80 times bigger than our sun.
It was one of the four detections announced this week. The detections are made using the data collected from the advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) that is capable of detecting gravity waves, tiny ripples in space and time.
Professor Susan Scott of Australian National University (ANU) said that the collision has taken place none billion light years away (and nine billion years ago). The ripples were detected on 29 July last year.
'This event also had black holes spinning the fastest of all mergers observed so far. It is also by far the most distant merger observed,' Professor Scott said.
This was followed by other three other black-hole collisions which took place between 9 and 23 August 2017. Those collisions occurred between three and six billion light years away and were 56 to 66 times bigger than the Sun.
'These were from four different binary black hole systems smashing together and radiating strong gravitational waves out into space,' said Professor Scott.
'These detections of black-hole collisions greatly improve our understanding of how many binary black hole systems there are in the universe, as well as the range of their masses and how fast the black holes spin during a merger.'
The scientists plan on upgrading the gravitational wave detectors which will allow them to detect cataclysmic events further in space. The researchers are hoping to find out the actual facts surrounding the Big Bang.