The signal doesn’t seem to match the most obvious causes.
Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time created by the interaction of massive objects in space, such as black holes and neutron stars. Their existence was first predicted by Albert Einstein in his 1916 paper describing his theory of general relativity. In 2015, scientists made the first detection of gravitational waves, observing ripples from the collision of two black holes. The discovery won astrophysicists Kip Thorne, Barry Baris and Rainer Weiss the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics. Subsequent observations have also detected gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars. Learn more about gravitational waves here.
For the second time ever, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has spotted two ultradense stellar remnants known as neutron stars violently crashing together.
As the 2010s come to a close, it's time to revisit how some of the biggest space science stories shaped the decade.
Scientists are on the verge of being able to detect the "memory" left behind by gravitational waves.
Gravitational-wave astronomy may help researchers paint a more complete picture of black hole activity.
Scientists recently spotted a gold-and-platinum factory in space called a "kilonova," or an epic explosion that likely happened when two dense stars collided with each other.
The largest physics detector on Earth hunts gravitational waves. But it needs to be really, really quiet to find them.
Most of the universe's gold, uranium and other heavy elements are generated from rapidly whirling collapsing stars, a new study finds.
Upcoming gravitational-wave observatories both on Earth and in space could soon help solve some of the greatest mysteries in science.
Just a month into a new observing round after significant improvements, gravitational-wave detectors have already used ripples in space-time to pinpoint five collisions of cosmic proportions.
Astronomers have apparently spotted another epic neutron-star crash — and they didn't need gravitational waves to do it.
Analyzing ripples in the fabric of space and time created by pairs of dead stars may soon solve a cosmic mystery surrounding how quickly the universe is expanding — if scientists are lucky.
Four new gravitational-wave observations mean scientists can start to make broader discoveries about the world around us and the black holes that fill it.
Once again, a decades-old theory of gravity has survived a modern scientific onslaught. Einstein wins again.
The historic neutron-star crash that astronomers observed last year generated a hypermassive, supermagnetic neutron star, a recent study suggests.