Our Northwest

‘Mind-boggling’ scientific discovery at Hanford

Friday, February 12, 2016by  Jon Osterberg

gravitational waves around earthA scientific breakthrough that’s all over the news is cool because of its local angle: gravitational waves have been detected for the first time, at Hanford.

The discovery came Sept. 14 at Hanford’s LIGO facility – a laser observatory – and a twin facility 1,900 miles away in Louisiana.

Gravitational waves were theorized by Albert Einstein in 1916, but it took 100 years for them to be scientifically confirmed. The waves detected at Hanford were created by two black holes that collided 1.3 billion years ago.

Scientists estimate the two black holes were 29 and 36 times the mass of our sun.

The LIGO facility lies northwest of Richland, just five miles off State Route 240 (turn north, not south, at the Benton City exit). Read the Tri-City Herald article.

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