It was only a tiny, nearly imperceptible chirp nevertheless it opened the ears of humanity to the music of the cosmos as well as proving Einstein was right once again.
In what is considered one of the eureka s biggest moment in physics history, scientists on Thursday announced they finally have detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time that a century ago Einstein had predicted.
This news exhilarated physicists and astronomers alike. Because this evidence of gravitational waves is captured in the form of audio, the finding means that astronomers can now hear the soundtrack of our universe and listen while violent collisions help to reshape the cosmos.
An international team of all-star astrophysicists used a sensitive, set of two instruments worth $1.1 billion known as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), to detect the gravitational waves generated through the collision of two massive big holes over 1.3 million light years away from home.
France Cordova the Director at the National Science Foundation said that at this time Einstein would be smiling from ear to ear.
The proof scientists said consisted of what is referred to as a single chirp, which actually sounded far closer to a thud, that was registered September 14.
Astronomers played this recording at Thursday s overflowing press conference.
That is the chirp scientists have looked for said a spokesperson for the team at LIGO. Scientists said they are hoping for a greatest hits compilation of the universe within the next decade.
Some physicists say the finding is as big as the discovery in 2012 of the subatomic Higgs boson.
One physics professor at Penn State said that this was really comparable to just Galileo looking at planets through a telescope.
The LIGO team was congratulated by Stephen Hawking a physicist who said gravitational waves can provide a brand new way of looking at the universe.