5 mind-blowing facts about gravitational waves

New Delhi: A team of scientists on Thursday announced that they had detected gravitational waves in the universe for the first time.

The scientists measured this phenomenon using the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Here are five mind-blowing facts to know about gravitational waves and LIGO:

1. Gravitational waves are the disturbances in the fabric of space-time that travel at the speed of light. The waves are emitted by any mass that is changing speed or direction.

2. LIGO is designed to detect distortion that is 1 million times smaller than the width of a Hydrogen atom.

3. LIGO is a set of two identical detectors constructed to detect tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves. Each pipe is 1.3 meters wide and 4 Km long, set in an L-shape.

4. Scientists detected gravitational waves in a collision between two black holes. The collision released 50 times more energy in the form of gravitational waves than all of the energy released by all stars in the universe put together.

5. These waves are not only emitted by black holes, but also by any two bodies in an orbit. Sun and Earth too emit gravitational waves, but those waves carry 100 times less energy than the merging black holes.

News24 Bureau