Scientists discover the Ripple Effect of Gravitational Waves across the Universe

Scientists say supermassive black holes up to billions of times the mass of the sun have formed these gravitational waves across the Universe as they circled one another before merging. Finding the gravitational wave background is like hearing the murmur of a group of people when everyone is talking, but we are unable to pick out any of the individual’s voices.

All you must know about NANOGrav

NANOGrav is a National Science Foundation-funded Physics Frontiers Center of more than 190 scientists from the United States and Canada, including scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and other NASA centers. The collaboration has spent more than 15 years collecting high-precision data from ground-based radio telescopes, looking for these gravitational waves. (NANOGrav) presented the evidence in a series of papers published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Significance of Background Ripples

Detected background ripples will help scientists to better understand how gravitational waves are created and what happens to them as they propagate through the universe. They can study supermassive black hole mergers, events that can last for millions of years. Scientists think these mergers happen in most galaxies and influence their evolution.

The discovery complements the first-ever detection of gravitational waves in 2015 by LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory. Those signals, at a much shorter wavelength than the new discovery, were from black holes about 30 times the mass of our Sun.

NASA is contributing to the ESA (European Space Agency)-led Laser Interferometer Space Antenna mission, a future space-based observatory that will detect gravitational waves that are in a wavelength range between those detected by NANOGrav and LIGO.

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