Article. This artist's concept shows stars, black holes, and nebula laid over a grid representing the fabric of space-time. Ripples in this fabric are called gravitational waves. The NANOGrav collaboration detected evidence of gravitational waves created by black holes billions of times the mass of the Sun.
What is a ripple in space-time detected?
Scientists predicted the existence of these ripples, called gravitational waves, as far back as the 1910s. But because the distortions they create in space-time are so minute, they weren't detected until eight years ago.
What is the ripple effect in the universe?
Gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime caused by massive accelerating objects. Albert Einstein predicted their existence in his general theory of relativity, in which he hypothesized that when a gravitational wave passes through space, it makes the space shrink then expand periodically.
What is the difference between a gravity wave and a ripple?
A gravity wave is a vertical wave. The best example I can think of in describing what a gravity wave looks like is to think of a rock being thrown into a pond. Ripples or circles migrate from the point the rock hits the water. An up and down motion is created.
What is the science behind a ripple?
Water is also made of molecules. But during a ripple, the water molecules don't move away from the rock, as you might expect. They actually move up and down. When they move up, they drag the other molecules next to them up – then they move down, dragging the molecules next to them down too.
What would a ripple in space-time do?
These cosmic ripples would travel at the speed of light, carrying with them information about their origins, as well as clues to the nature of gravity itself.