On 4 January 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the United States detected gravitational waves produced by the merger of two black holes almost three billion of light-years away.
On 2 June, LIGO released the sound of the gravitational wave detected by twin detectors in Louisiana and Washington states. This sound, the observatory said, has been shifted up in frequency.
It has long been said that there is no sound in space. This is true to an extent because conventional sound requires a medium to travel. In space, where there are very few particles, most cosmic chirps go silent before they are heard.
However, gravitational waves can travel through space, as they do not require anything other than the fabric of space itself to travel through.
According to LIGO, gravitational waves are 'ripples' caused by violent and energetic processes in the Universe. These ripples travel at the speed of light through the Universe, carrying with them information about their origins. Thanks to LIGO, we are hearing the Universe for the very first time.
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