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Gravitational Wave Astronomy Is Here to Stay

Scientists on the lookout for subtle disturbances in the fabric of space-time have detected the signal from a cataclysmic collision between two black holes that lie some 3 billion light-years away, much farther two previous discoveries.

The findings by the team working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, cement the idea that gravitational wave astronomy — a cutting-edge tool to observe some of the most powerful events in the universe — is here to stay.

“We’re really moving from novelty to new observational science — a new astronomy of gravitational waves,” said MIT senior research scientist David Shoemaker, spokesman for the LIGO team.